Palace: No need to expand martial law outside Mindanao, PH still a safe haven
MANILA, Philippines—Despite the recent bombings in Jolo and Zamboanga City, Malacañang still believes that there is no need to expand martial law beyond Mindanao as the country remains a “safe haven.”
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo insists that there was no “spillover” of terrorist attacks to other parts of the country that may warrant the expansion of martial rule.
“We would like to assure the general public that they can go about their normal activity life. Our country is still a safe haven,” Panelo said Thursday in a Palace briefing.
“There is no necessity for any expansion of martial law, as the President has repeatedly declared,” he added.
Panelo made the remark after two people were killed and four others were wounded when a grenade exploded inside a mosque in Zamboanga early Wednesday. Three days before that, twin explosion jolted a cathedral in Jolo, Sulu that killed at least 21 people and hurt 111 others.
Panelo also claimed that the military is prepared for any eventuality that may happen in Mindanao.
President Rodrigo Duterte has declared martial law in Mindanao when ISIS-inspired terrorists laid siege on Marawi City in May 2017.
In December, Congress approved a third extension of martial law in the region for the whole of 2019 after security officials cited persistent and continuing terror threats in Mindanao.
Panelo earlier said that without martial law in Mindanao, there could have been more bombings and terrorist attacks in the conflict-stricken region. /muf
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