Military assures rule of law if Mindanao martial law gets extended

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 20 2017 04:40 PM

Soldiers watch an air strike from one of the barangays already controlled by the government forces. Fernando G. Sepe Jr., ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Thursday assured that the rule of law will prevail if martial law in Mindanao is extended.

Military Public Affairs Office (AFP-PAO) chief, Colonel Edgard Arevalo allayed fears that law enforcers will commit abuses during the extended martial rule. 

"What we would like to be very sure about and to tell our people is that if martial law will be extended at all, ito po ay ipapatupad ng ating mga kawal, mga sundalo nang may paggalang sa batas, pagkilala sa karapatang pantao at ang ating patuloy na pagkiling sa legal na pamamahala at pagpapatupad ng martial law," he said in a press briefing.

(We will implement martial law with respect to the rule of law, human rights and legal processes of martial law.)

Congress is set to convene for a special session Saturday to decide whether to grant President Rodrigo Duterte's request to extend military rule in Mindanao until the last day of the year.

Duterte placed Mindanao under martial law last May 23 after clashes between government forces and ISIS-inspired Maute extremists erupted in Marawi City.

Arevalo also maintained that the military has not recorded any abuse by its men since martial law was declared in Mindanao.

"Wala tayong ulat ng report ng pag-abuso sa ating hanay," he said.

(There are no reports of abuses within our ranks.)

As of Wednesday, clashes in Marawi City have left 565 dead, including 421 terror suspects, 99 government troops, and 45 civilians.