DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The assessment of the Armed Forces of the Philippines whether to extend or not the imposition of martial law and the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao is coming out in a week.
AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla, Jr. told reporters during the regular Mindanao Hour briefing in Malacañang on Friday that the assessment is already on its concluding stage.
The assessment will be submitted to AFP chief of staff Gen. Eduardo Año for review before its submission to Secretary Delfin Lorenzana of the Department of National Defense.
Lorenzana who was designated as the administrator of martial law will submit the assessment to President Rodrigo Duterte.
“The Secretary (defense) is the administrator of martial law and will necessarily have to have his inputs into the document,” Padilla said.
He stressed that the assessment will come out in a week time, adding that the President is being updated regularly on the matter.
“I am sure that the President is getting updates… so regularly. And he may even have an advance copy of the recommendation prior to that. Because he is the Commander-in-Chief and he has to know of course,” Padilla said.
End of Marawi siege?
Padilla did not provide the media with a categorical answer on the possibility of ending the crisis in Marawi in a period of 10 to 15 days.
The target of 10 to 15 days was uttered by Duterte when he addressed the 26th founding anniversary of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology earlier this week.
“Actually, lahat tayo nagnanais na tapusin na ‘to eh. Kung ako lang ang tatanungin niyo, dapat tapos na ‘to ngayon o bukas sana ‘no,” Padilla said.
But the AFP spokesperson raised the situation of complexity in the battlefield that confronts the ground troopers of the government in their continuing push to defeat the IS-linked Maute.
“They really want to finish this fight as soon as possible and that’s why they’re all determined to hold on to the territory that was held already by our troops. Ayaw na nilang umatras kung meron mang pangangailangan. Lahat sila sulong-sulong lahat at gusto nilang tapusin ito,” Padilla said.
In the same press briefing, Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said 93 government troopers were already killed in the continuing war in Marawi.
The number includes the two soldiers who were killed by a friendly fire on Thursday, July 13.
In the latest count, 394 members of terrorists were already killed as AFP continues its air and ground assaults in Marawi.
A total of 498 high-powered firearms were also recovered in the area, Abella said. (davaotoday.com)