AFP to push for one-year martial law extension in MindanaoPosted on
MANILA — Outgoing Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr. on Monday said the military will recommend a year-long extension of martial law in Mindanao.
“We have recommendations already, nakikita po namin ang lahat ng (we see that all) RPOC (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,” he added.
The proposed extension is aimed at reducing or eliminating terrorism threat on the island, Galvez stressed.
“(Year-long martial law extension is recommended) so that we can substantially make significant dent on terrorism,” Galvez said during flag-raising ceremonies in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City Monday.
The AFP chief said this is the military’s position as there is clamor for an extension of martial law considering that terrorism is still present in Mindanao.
“(Our) position (is), because there is really a clamor for the extension considering that terrorism is still lurking in the area, nakita natin, nagkaroon tayo ng (We saw them like) Basilan bombing, and then recently we have an encounter in Sulu. The Sulu problem still persists, and 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 terrorist to the maximum, we have a very weak terrorism law so with that martial law is need to completely defeat the terrorism,” he added.
Galvez added that their recommendation will be submitted to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and most probably during the command conference with the new AFP chief this coming Dec. 12 after which their findings will be presented to the President.
Malacañang earlier said it would depend on the recommendation of the AFP on whether martial law will be extended after the end of the year. Martial law in Mindanao was declared on May 23, 2017 following attacks launched by the Maute Group in Marawi City.
The House of Representatives, in a special joint session in July last year, granted the extension of martial law until Dec. 31, 2017 at the President’s request.
The Senate and House of Representatives, convening in a joint session early December, granted the Chief Executive’s request for the extension of martial law and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus for a period of one year from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2018. -PNA