‘Ter­ror­ism, not the gov’t, is the en­emy’ Mar­tial law ‘de­ci­sive, nec­es­sary’ step – Pi­mentel

Panay News - - METRO - By Prince Golez Manila Re­porter Edi­tor: Daryl Z. Lasafin

MANILA – Se­nate Pres­i­dent Aquilino Pi­mentel III re­minded the pub­lic that ter­ror­ism, not the gov­ern­ment, is the en­emy as he de­fended the dec­la­ra­tion of mar­tial law in Min­danao.

Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte placed t he en­tire ma­jor south­ern is­land un­der mil­i­tary rule in the evening of May 23 fol­low­ing clashes be­tween gov­ern­ment troops and the Maute ter­ror­ist group in Marawi City in Lanao del Sur.

“Those who have sown ter­ror in Min­danao and threaten the safety and se­cu­rity of our ci­ti­zens are the en­emy — not the gov­ern­ment and cer­tainly not our men in uni­form,” said Pi­mentel.

The Se­nate pres­i­dent be­lieves Duterte’s dec­la­ra­tion was a “de­ci­sive step” and “nec­es­sary” in end­ing ter­ror­ist vi­o­lence.

“Ter­ror­ists are the threat here,” Pi­mentel said. “They have re­peat­edly shown an ut­ter dis­re­gard of the sanc­tity of hu­man life and have shown that they will not hes­i­tate to re­sort to vi­o­lence and may­hem to fur­ther their ends.”

Im­pos­ing mil­i­tary rule in Min­danao is the only way at this point to con­tain the ter­ror threat, said Pi­mentel, who hails from Ca­gayan de Oro.

The sooner the threats are neu­tral­ized, the bet­ter it will be for the peo­ple of Marawi City and Min­danao, he said.

“Pres­i­dent Duterte knows that, at this point, ex­tra­or­di­nary mea­sures are nec­es­sary to con­tain this threat, and those of us from Min­danao un­der­stand that,” Pi­mentel said. “The rest of the na­tion should un­der­stand this as well.”

The Depart­ment of Na­tional De­fense has is­sued guide­lines on car­ry­ing out mar­tial law to the Armed Forces of the Philip­pines.

In the May 24 memo, De­fense un­der­sec­re­tary Ed­uardo del Rosario main­tained that the “rule of law and hu­man rights should pre­vail.”

“The dec­la­ra­tion of mar­tial law in the is­land of Min­danao does not sus­pend the op­er­a­tion of the Con­sti­tu­tion nor sup­plant the func­tion­ing of Philip­pine ju­di­cial and leg­isla­tive as­sem­blies,” del Rosario said./

AP

Res­i­dents evac­u­ate to safety af­ter a mil­i­tant siege in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur on May 25. The Armed Forces strug­gles to re­store or­der. The en­tire Min­danao has been placed un­der mar­tial law.

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