The Palace on Saturday, December 2, stressed that the extension of martial law in Mindanao would guarantee the safety and security of the public, particularly during the Marawi rehabilitation phase.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Jr. conducted a press briefing in Zamboanga, where he announced that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) would submit its recommendation on martial law to the President next week.
He said the President is expected to make his decision also by next week or the following week, to allow Congress to discuss the measure before it suspends session.
“I have had prior consultations with the Armed Forces. The recommendation will be submitted by next week. So the President will make a decision, if not next week, then the week after,” Roque announced.
Roque pointed out that an extension of martial law in Mindanao would ensure the region’s continuous security against terrorism and violent extremism.
“Bagamat na-liberate na po natin ang Marawi, ang banta po ng terorismo at ng violent extremism ay nananatili,” he said.
He added that the extension would also help in the process of rehabilitating Marawi City following its siege by the Maute rebel group.
“Makakatulong po ang martial law sa tingin ko ngayon doon sa proseso ng pagbabangon ng Marawi… Lahat po ng involved sa Bangon Marawi, tingin ko po, they will feel safer if the President will exercise his power as Commander-in-Chief,” Roque said.
Palace: Opposition riding on revgov issue
Meanwhile, Roque warned that some members of the opposition could only be riding on the issue on establishing a revolutionary government to instill fear among the public.
“[H]indi lang naman po mga kaalyado ang nagsasabi na kailangan ng RevGov. Ginagamit din po yan ng oposisyon para takutin ‘yung taumbayan,” Roque said.
“Bakit naman magnanais ang isang panalo na Presidente na mag-RevGov nang walang dahilan… Magdedeklara lang siya ng RevGov kung naghihingalo na ang ating Republika, at hindi po ‘yan nangyayari ngayon,” he added.
Furthermore, Roque assured Filipinos in Mindanao of a better version of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).
He said the new version of the bill is more inclusive, since it did not only consider proposals from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), but also took into account the concerns of Lumads in the region.
In the earlier BBL, Roque said Lumads were classified as part of the Bangsamoro entity. “Wala na pong ganyang depinisyon dun,” he said referring to the new version.
“‘Yan naman ang pagkakaiba kapag ang Pangulo mo, taga-Mindanao. Nakakaintindi na ang kapayapaan, hindi posible kung hindi mo kakausapin ang lahat,” Roque stressed.###PCO-Content