AFP not open to place entire PH under ML

MANILA — Proposals to place the entire country under Martial Law never crossed the collective mind of the military.

This was stressed by Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla during a press briefing Tuesday.

“Do you see the need for that to be done? Let’s not raise the Martial Law bogey because there is nothing (of that sort is occurring),” the AFP official said.

Padilla added he also see no need, for the moment, to recommend the entire country be placed under Martial Law.

But, the military official said an assessment is still ongoing to determine its possible extension.

“The declaration of Martial Law (in Mindanao) and its possible extension is dependent on the assessment that will be done by the AFP. The assessment is not yet done, so I cannot answer that as of yet,” he stated when asked on whether the military will recommend an extension for the ML.

Once the assessment is done along with their recommendation, it will be then forwarded to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, the Martial Law administrator, who will then forward it to President Rodrigo Duterte who will then review it.

“The declaration of Martial Law goes out of effect at the end of 60 days and the recommendation and decision to extend it must (be) done before it ends,” Padilla said.

Martial Law in Mindanao was declared night time of May 23 shortly after the attack of the Maute Group terrorists in Marawi City.

Under the 1987 Constitution, Martial Law is only limited for 60 days and needs the approval of Congress for its extension.

“We are already on the 50th day of the Martial Law declaration which started on the 23rd of May, so we have 10 days to go, the recommendation must reach the Secretary (Lorenzana) before that time, and it must reach the President or the Commander-in-Chief,” Padilla pointed out.

As of this posting, Maute Group casualties are placed at 381 terrorists killed along with 90 government troops, and civilians executed at 39.

Number of captured Maute Group firearms were placed at 461 and rescued civilians at 1,723. with Gilbert Villaruz & Jayvee Castro (OJTs)/PNA