Multi-sector advisory council to oversee martial law to be formed

Posted on May 31, 2017

DAVAO CITY -- A multi-sectoral advisory council will be formed to oversee the implementation of martial law in Mindanao, according to the head of the military’s Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom).

A Philippine Marine aims his assault rifle he and other Marines advance toward militant positions in Marawi on the southern island of Mindanao on May 30, 2017, as fighting rages on the eighth day. AFP
“Its function is to observe how martial law is being implemented to have full transparency and accountability to ensure there are no abuses,” said Lt. Gen. Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero, commander of the EastMinCom, which covers the entire regions of Davao and Caraga, and parts of Northern Mindanao and South Cotabato-Cotabato-Sultan Kudarat-Sarangani-General Santos City (Soccsksargen).

The council’s membership will be composed of representatives from the business, legal, and religious sectors, academe, media, and local governments.

Mr. Guerrero said pending the composition of the advisory body, it will initially consist of the core group of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) Multi-Sector Governance Council (MSGC), which was formed in 2014 to monitor the AFP’s 15-year transformation program.

The EastMinCom chief also pointed out that the current martial law in Mindanao, unlike the one under the Marcos rule, is subject to the Constitution as well as public scrutiny through social media.

“Martial law in the present situation is covered by a new set of rules as covered by the existing Constitution. There are enough safeguards to avoid abuses and we have a very active social media and observant populace fully aware of their rights, and we expect them to be mindful of their rights and report these violations,” he said. -- Carmencita A. Carillo