Duterte reiterates: Fate of martial law lies on military, police

Nov. 19, 2017

President Rodrigo Duterte speaks at the launching of the Department of Agriculture’s partnership with Ayala Malls at the Abreeza Mall in Davao City on November 18, 2017, (Presidential Photo)

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte over the weekend said that the lifting martial law in Mindanao would depend upon the recommendations of both the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP).

“You know, declaration of martial law is always dependent on what the armed forces and the police recommend,” said Duterte told the reporters here in a media interview on Saturday evening, November 18.

Mindanao was placed by Duterte military rule on May 23. The chief executive made a bold decision to declare a 60-day martial law after Maute fighters took over the Islamic city of Marawi.

Congress extended it upon the President’s recommendation as government forces were tasked to flush out the rebels in the war-torn Marawi City. Its effectivity will expire on December 31.

Meanwhile, Duterte said both the AFP and PNP “are the two entities that would be relied” when it comes to making decisions related to extreme measures.

President Duterte further explained that state security forces have the right to recommend because they are engaged on the ground.

“I do not think that they’d fabricate events. It’s all for us to say it’s an involving everyday, especially in that corridor of Maguindanao and Marawi,” the president added.

This is not first time that President Duterte made such pronouncement on the lifting of martial law in Mindanao. Back in June, he vowed to lift the martial law if the AFP and PNP told him that the southern region is safe from possible terrorist threats.

Human rights groups and other civil society groups filed three petitions to the Supreme Court in an attempt to stop its implementation, fearing that gross human rights violations would escalate in Mindanao.

But the Supreme Court, in a majority vote on July, affirmed Duterte’s declaration of martial law in Mindanao. Eleven SC justices upheld the declaration, dismissing the petitions filed by Duterte critics before the SC. (davaotoday.com)

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