Peace and or­der coun­cils to dis­cuss mar­tial law ex­ten­sion

Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro - - Nation -

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)

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