PH military says no discussion about martial law, yet | Inquirer News

PH military says no discussion about martial law, yet

/ 03:09 PM May 05, 2020

MANILA, Philippines—The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Tuesday (May 5) said there has been no discussion so far about the possible declaration of martial law because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The AFP issued the statement in the wake of comments made by Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo about the contagion qualifying as a ground for martial law because it was an “invasion.”


“There has been no such discussion so far in the AFP,” AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said in a statement.

He said, however, that a martial law declaration would depend upon the “wise determination and prudent discretion” of President Rodrigo Duterte.


“The power to declare martial law on the basis of COVID-19 is within his powers as Commander-in-Chief subject to the concurrence of both houses of Congress,” Arevalo said.

He said the AFP is currently focused on doing its share in curbing the spread of SARS Cov2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and on internal security operations against terrorists and communist rebels.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that declaring martial law was up to Duterte although the invasion that Panelo was referring to was a health concern.

Panelo, according to Lorenzana, “is technically correct that this is an invasion.”

“The virus came from abroad and in fact it has invaded the whole world. But this is primarily a health issue, a war against a deadly and highly contagious virus,” Lorenzana said.

Edited by TSB

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TAGS: contagion, Coronavirus, coronavirus Philippines, COVID-19, invasion, Martial law, Military, pandemic
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