MANILA, Philippines — Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza said the Martial Law in Mindanao declared by President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday will target “anybody who will disrupt the peace.”
“Wala man tayong ceasefire agreement sa kanila so anybody who will disrupt the peace now will be subjected to the Martial Law procedures that will be put in effect by the military (We don’t have a ceasefire with them (CPP-NPA-NDF), so anybody who will disrupt the peace now will be subjected to the procedures that will be put in effect by the military),” he said in an interview Wednesday when asked whether the declaration of Martial Law will affect the ongoing peace talks with the communists.
But Dureza said the government cannot speculate on the effect of Martial Law in the peace negotiations with the communists. He said that the government will continue dealing with the NDFP as the next round of talks resumes on Saturday, May 27 and end on June 2 in Noordwijk, The Netherlands.
“We’ll see how it’s going to settle down, whether it will help or delay, or affect in whatever way our peace negotiations with the CPP NDF, we cannot tell,” Dureza said.
“Right now, when we continue dealing with them, it means that whatever commitment they will agree will come into our panel. We expect that that should also be respected by whom they say are their bosses on the ground,” he added.
Dureza added that enforcing Martial Law “will even help promote peace in the area.”
“These mechanisms will see to it that only those who will disrupt the peace will be addressed with the full force of martial law,” he said.
A few days ahead of the fifth round of talks between the Philippine government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, the NDFP expressed fear that the Martial Law declared by President Rodrigo Duterte in Mindanao will affect the peace negotiations.
The NDFP said placing Mindanao under Martial Law would aggravate the human rights situation in the country.
President Rodrigo Duterte at 10 pm on Tuesday placed Mindanao under Martial Law following clashes between government troops and members of the Maute group in Marawi City.
The President on September 4, 2016 issued Proclamation No. 55 declaring a state of national emergency on account of lawless violence in Mindanao. This after the Maute attacked military outposts in Butig Lanao del Sur in February and the mass jailbreak of terrorist in Marawi City in August 2016. Two days prior to the proclamation, a deadly blast occurred at the Roxas night market in Davao City. (davaotoday.com)