MANILA - Vice Persident Leni Robredo reiterated on Monday that she is not against the deployment of more government forces in areas affected by insurgency, but the Duterte administration must allay fears that it will lead to the declaration of martial law.
After speaking in the annual conference of Asian Group for Public Administration in UP Diliman, the Vice President said in an interview that it is incumbent upon Malacanan to assure Filipinos that the President has no plans of declaring martial rule after the issuance of Memorandum Order 32 (MO 32).
MO 32 orders the augmentation of police and military troops to "suppress lawless violence" in Samar, Negros Oriental, Negros Occidental, and in the Bicol region, where the Vice President comes from.
“Yung sa akin, while OK na i-augment ang kapulisan, dapat yung pinaka-dulo nito, i-resolve iyong insurgency saka i-assure ang tao na hindi ito prelude ng martial law pero talagang augmentation lang iyong kailangan,” Robredo said.
(For me, while it's ok to augment the police force, the end should be resolution of insurgency and assuring the people that it is not a prelude to martial law, that augmentation is all that's needed.)
The Vice President noted the resurgence of government troops being killed in attacks perpetrated by communist guerillas in her home region.
She also said she visited wounded policemen who were hurt in an ambush incident, the third for the month.
“In the previous months, marami ding mga ambush.So talagang iyong insurgency na for quite some time parang OK na, parang nabuhay ulit ngayon. Kaya nga sinasabi ko, na alamin kung bakit at iyon iyong i-resolve,” Robredo said.
(In the previous months, there really had been several ambushes. So the insurgency, for quite some time was ok, but it seems to have been revived. That's why I said the reason must be identified and resolved.)
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, who is also President Rodrigo Duterte's chief legal counsel, said the same directive in other parts of the country will be ordered if there are acts of violence.
"If there is none, we should not be concerned. If there are acts of violence, acts of terror in any other areas, then certainly, it will have to be implemented," he said earlier.