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Full rehabilitation efforts soon to begin after approval of one-year martial law extension

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, December 14th, 2017

MANILA, Philippines — Rehabilitation efforts in Marawi City will be fast-tracked, now that the extension of the implementation of martial law has been approved on Wednesday.

Martial law administrator and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said their original recommendation for the extension was six months.

That is why they are delighted now that the one-year extension has been approved for them to put an end to terrorism in Mindanao.

Even AFP Spokesperson Marine Colonel Edgard Arevalo vows to perform their mandate to end the rebellion prevailing in the southern part of the country.

The PNP, meanwhile, is ready to support the military in implementing the martial rule in the region, which is extended until the 31st of December 2018.

“We will support the military since it’s martial law, the role of PNP is to support the military in the implementation of martial law,” PNP Chief General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa said. — UNTV News

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Senate likely to consider second extension of Martial Law

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, December 10th, 2018

PASAY CITY, Philippines – Security officials met with members of the Senate on Monday (December 10) to defend their recommendation of extending the implementation of Martial Law in Mindanao for another year.

Present in the executive session were Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, and AFP Chief of Staff General Carlito Galvez Jr.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III said he is likely to consider the recommendation due to threats of rebellion.

“In my opinion, there is a continuing rebellion. There is an actual rebellion on going,” said Sotto.

Meanwhile, Senator Ralph Rector is in favor of the extension, however, not for one year but for six months only.

“What is appealing is that they’re saying that they would be able to wipe out the Abu Sayyaf  if we give them a year of extension and to reduce the capability of CPP-NPA. That’s an appealing proposition to extend martial law. But then, why not 6 months?” Recto said.

According to Sotto, the Congress is likely to convene in a joint session on Wednesday to discuss the proposed one year extension of Martial Law.

It was in May 23, 2017 when the entire Mindanao region was placed under Martial Law following attacks from Maute terrorist group in Marawi City.

It was extended to a year until December 31, 2017 and another extension until the last day of this year. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Nel Maribojoc)

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Extension of martial law in Mindanao, not necessary – CHR

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, December 6th, 2018

 

(file photo)

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) is not convinced that an extension of martial law in Mindanao is necessary at this point.

CHR Chairperson Chito Gascon said they have been opposing the imposition of martial law in the region because they believe that the power of the President is enough to solve the problems of terrorism in the country.

“Kasi nakalagay sa Saligang Batas, only in cases of actual invasion or rebellion. Hindi po kasama dito ang tinatawag na lawless violence. At patuloy po kaming naninindigan na sa extensions nito ay hindi rin kailangan,” Gascon said.

CHR Spokesperson Atty. Jacqueline De Guia, meanwhile, believes the government troops are fully equipped for the job and extension of martial law is no longer necessary.

“It has been the position of the Commission on Human Rights that our security forces are fully capable of addressing lawless violence in the country without the need for martial law,” she said.

She added that: “As such, there has to be a strong reason should the government move for another extension—based on the sound recommendation of our Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police on the real situation on the ground.”

Gascon, meanwhile, stressed that the situation at present is different compared with the martial law during the regime of the late President Ferdinand Marcos in terms of intention.

Nevertheless, the CHR vows to be vigilant in monitoring for possible violations of human rights along the way.

For his part, former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay fear the extension of martial law may only be utilized by people with much interest for charter change.

“So exactly the same story that we have during Marcoses time na martial law can be used to expedite charter change,” he said.

But Malacañang clarified that the proposal to extend the implementation of martial law in Mindanao region remains under study by President Rodrigo Duterte. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

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Historic Balangiga bells to return home on December 11

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Wednesday, December 5th, 2018

 

One of the historic Balangiga Bells | Photo courtesy: Philippine Embassy in Washington DC

TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines – Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana confirmed on Monday (December 3) that the historic Balangiga bells are finally coming home to the Philippines after 117 years.

“Ang bells of Balangiga are coming back home. It will arrive on December 11 in the morning. We are looking at December 15 to return in Balangiga,” Lorenzana said.

The bells were taken by the United States Army from the Balangiga Church in Eastern Samar as war booties during the Philippine-American War. It was used by Filipino fighters to signal the attack against American soldiers at a detachment in Balangiga in September 1901 where 54 U.S. soldiers were killed.

Mayor Randy Graza of the town of Balangiga said preparations are underway prior to the arrival of the bells on December 15, in time for the start of the Catholic’s misa de gallo or simbang gabi.

“Definitely a formal turnover is doon sa simbahan, sa pastoral church. Iyong diocese ang nakakaalam ng program. Sa amin naman na part ang security. Ikino-coordinate namin sa PNP at sa military. Iyon lang naman ang part ng LGU,” he said.

Graza said the organizing committee is contemplating on a possible reenactment of the 1901 Balangiga massacre in association with the bells’ return.

Two of the bells have already been flown from the F. E. Warren Air Force in Cheyenne, Wyoming, to an air base in Guam while the third one has already been placed in a crate in South Korea, ready for transport.

All three bells will be returned to the country.

With the bells’ arrival, the municipal tourism office is expecting an influx of tourists which would help boost the town’s revenue. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Jennelyn Valles)

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