Peace and order councils to discuss martial law extension
THE Regional Peace and Order Councils (RPOCs) from Luzon and Mindanao will convene end of November to discuss the possible extension of martial law in the south, Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año said.
“I-co-convene namin ang lahat ng RPOCs ng buong Luzon at Mindanao sa isang venue sa Davao. It would be attended also by the President (Rodrigo Duterte). So ito ngayon ang pinaka-magbibigay ng consensus kung ano ang kanilang magiging recommendation (kung ieextend ba ng martial law sa Mindanao),” Año said.
He said RPOCs from Luzon were included in the meeting to personally raise their concerns to the President, not particularly about the martial law, which concerns especially the Mindanao RPOCs.
Año said among the concern of the Luzon RPOCs is the security threat particularly in communist-affected areas such as in northern Luzon, Bicol and various areas in Quezon.
Duterte declared a 60day martial law in the entire Mindanao on May 23, 2017 following the attack staged by the Islamic-inspired Maute terror group in Marawi City that lasted for five months.
The government sought for the extension of martial law until December 31, 2017 to give way to the ongoing clearing and rehabilitation of Marawi City. The martial rule was again extended for another year and is set to end on December 31, 2018.
Año said he is inclined to extend the martial law in Mindanao.
“Para sa ‘kin, having the feedback from the people of Mindanao, I would rather opt for another extension,” he said.
Earlier, Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Oscar Albayalde said he will also fully support the extension of martial law, noting that it will help strengthen the peace and order situation in the south.
He also said the PNP will continue to uphold human rights amid intensified security operations in Mindanao. (SunStar Philippines)