Duterte awaiting recommendation from AFP, PNP on Martial Law extension – Palace

Marje Pelayo   •   October 19, 2018   •   3896

 

AFP Chief of Staff General Carlito Galvez, Jr. and PNP Director General Oscar Albayalde

MANILA, Philippines – Presidential Spokesperson and Chief Legal Adviser Salvador Panelo clarified that President Rodrigo Duterte is still awaiting the recommendation from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) on whether or not to extend the imposition of Martial Law in Mindanao.

It can be recalled that Congress allowed the extension of Martial Law in the region until December 31, 2018 upon request of the Duterte administration in order to eradicate Islamic State-inspired terror groups that sparked the Marawi siege.

Panelo said the President still gives utmost consideration to the information that the military provides as the soldiers are the ones monitoring the actual security situation on ground.

However, Panelo believes that another extension of Martial Law remains highly necessary to ensure the safety of the majority of citizens in all parts of the country.

“As I said, if it is helping the population – the population is not even opposing it, so to my mind, there is a need to extend it,” Panelo said. “But according to the President that will depend on the advice, the recommendation of the military because they are the ones on the ground.”

Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the Department of National Defense (DND) is continuously assessing the situation in Mindanao through consultations with members of the community, local government units, the business sector and civil society groups.

“We are currently assessing the situation consulting with the population, LGUs, military, police, business and civil society. We will make the recommendation in the next two months before the year ends,” Lorenzana said in a statement. –  Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

PH strengthens border security with Indonesia, Malaysia

Marje Pelayo   •   November 18, 2019

Participants are seen gathering near a Royal Malaysian Navy (RAM) patrol gunboat at the port of Zamboanga City, southern Philippines, 27 November 2018. The RMN is participating the Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines (INDOMALPHI) 4th Trilateral Maritime training exercise to enhance joint patrol with the three navies aiming to combat the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group and pirates operating in the common borders of the three nations in southern Philippines. EPA-EFE/LAURENZ CASTILLO

MANILA, Philippines – Backdoor entry through the Philippines southern border has made the country susceptible to threats from foreign terrorists.

Thus, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has been working with its neighboring countries Indonesia and Malaysia to further strengthen its border security.

In 2017, the three countries entered into an agreement coined as ‘INDOMALPHI’ or Indonesia, Malaysia, and Philippines Trilateral Cooperative Agreement which commits the three nations to securing common borders.

“If ever there are reports from let’s say Indonesia or Malaysia that they going here, they have to share that information (to prevent entry of terrorists),” explained AFP Chief of Staff General Noel Clement.

“The same is true also if we have reports that we have fighters that are coming here and going to their respective countries,” he added.

The AFP admits, however, that the lack of floating assets of its naval arm – the Philippine Navy – gives foreign terrorists the chance to penetrate the country’s territories like the suicide bombers in the Sulu attack.

Worse, these terrorists teach their local counterparts how to create explosives and execute their plans, according to Clement.

“Ang kanilang intention bakit sila nandito is para makapag-conduct ng kanilang mga terroristic activities particular ang pagbobomba (Their intentions for entering our territory include conducting terrorist activities particularly bombings),” the official said.

“Hindi natin dapat payagan ito because kapag naisagawa nila yung kanilang mga hangarin na ito ay maraming mape-perwisyo at madadamay, (We won’t allow that because if they succeed in their plans, many people will suffer),” he added.

The ‘INDOMALPHI” is conducting joint maritime exercises aimed at strengthening capabilities against sea-jacking, piracy, smuggling and other illegal activities at sea.

Meanwhile, the AFP also tapped the support of the fishing industry in ZAMBASULTA area to augment as force multipliers in guarding and protecting the waters within the Philippine territorial jurisdiction. – MNP (with details from Dante Amento)

PNP favors Martial Law extension in selected areas in Mindanao

Maris Federez   •   November 13, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Wednesday (November 13) signified its support to a Martial Law extension in some areas in Mindanao.

“Generally, yes, but there is still ongoing assessment on the part of the Philippine National Police baka pwede maging selective (maybe it will be selective),” said PNP officer-in-charge PLtGen. Archie Gamboa.

The official said the assessment will help them ascertain the areas that must still be under martial law.

Gamboa also said that he has directed the Directorate for Intelligence and the Directorate for Operations to submit their assessment on Friday.

He, however, declined to name the areas that they are proposing to still be under the extended martial law.

“I don’t want to preempt kasi gusto ko may proper evaluation, may proper supporting information and intelligence dito sa mga lugar na ito (because I want it to have a proper evaluation, to have proper supporting information and intelligence in these areas),” the official said.

He added that they will be holding a meeting with the National Security Adviser in the coming days on how to combat and suppress the local communist terrorist groups. (from the report of Lea Ylagan) /mbmf

Congress can revoke martial law any time sans anti-terror law amendments — Drilon

Robie de Guzman   •   November 12, 2019

Filipino government troops check a villager at a military checkpoint in the town of Pingcawayan, North Cotabato province, southern Philippines, 21 June 2017. EPA-EFE/CERILO EBRANO

MANILA, Philippines – Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Tuesday said that the government should not use the proposed amendments to the Human Security Act as a pre-requisite to the lifting of martial law in Mindanao.

Drilon made the statement in response to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana’s earlier remark that another extension would not be necessary if Congress amends the anti-terror law.

“Do not dangle lifting martial law in Mindanao in exchange for the speedy passage of the Human Security Act,” he said in a statement.

“The passage or non-passage of the amendments to the Human Securities Act is not a ground for extending martial law in Mindanao,” he added.

Citing Section 18, Article VII of the Philippine Constitution, the senator said that it was clear that martial law may be declared if actual rebellion exists, and that Congress may extend the declaration if the rebellion persists and public safety requires it.

“That is the only ground for extension of martial law. But it is clear since day one that the martial law or its extension in Mindanao has no basis,” Drilon said.

“It is high time that we lift (martial law to) bring back normalcy in the region,” he added.

He further stated that Congress can revoke martial law any time sans amendments to the Human Security Act.

He also said that Lorenzana was correct in saying that martial law has been going on for too long but he hopes that the government will not use it “to put pressure on Congress to pass the amendments to the Human Security Act.”

“The non-passage of the amendments to the Human Security Act should not be used as a basis or justification to further extend martial law. The amendments need thorough debates,” Drilon said.

Mindanao has been under martial law since 2017 after the Maute Terror group attacked Marawi City.

The martial law was initially set for 60 days but it was extended until the end of 2017, then until the end of 2018 and to the end of 2019.

It is set to expire on December 31, 2019.

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