THE Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has prepared a recommendation for the extension of martial law in Mindanao for another year.
“We have recommendations already. Nakikita po namin ang lahat ng (We’ve met with the) regional peace and order councils and also the local government units and even the Comelec (Commission on Elections) and other agencies are recommending for extension of at least one year,” AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Carlito G. Galvez Jr. told reporters at a flag ceremony at the AFP Headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo on Monday, Dec. 3.
Following the Marawi Siege of May 23, 2017, President Rodrigo R. Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao, which Congress extended until the rest of that year, and extended anew for 2018.
Last month, Mr. Duterte said he will wait for the recommendation of the military and the Philippine National Police (PNP).
Mr. Galvez added, “Because there is really a clamor for the extension considering that the terrorism is still lurking in the area. Nakita natin, nagkaroon tayo ng (We have seen, we had the)…Basilan bombing, and then recently we have an encounter in Sulu, the Sulu problem still persists. Also, we have also some bombings in Isulan and General Santos and also continuous bombing in Maguindanao.”
“So there is really a need to constrict and limit the maneuver space of the terrorists to the maximum, we have a very weak terrorism law so with that martial law (there) is (a) need to completely defeat the terrorism,” said Mr. Galvez.
Mr. Galvez, who is due to retire, said his successor will most likely present the recommendation on Dec. 12 to the Secretary of National Defense.
For his part, PNP chief Oscar D. Albayalde said: “I think the PNP has made itself clear that we support the AFP’s intention also of extension of the martial law. Siyempre pabor sa amin ‘yan (Of course, we favor that), because of the upcoming plebiscite and elections.” — VACF