New Army chief says martial law must continue during Marawi rehabilitation
The new chief of the Philippine Army emphasized the importance of continued implementation of martial law in Mindanao even during the rehabilitation of Marawi City.
Major Gen. Rolando Bautista, also Joint Task Force Marawi Commander, emphasized the need to continue martial law as there were reports that the terrorists are planning to replicate the Marawi siege in other peaceful areas in southern Philippines.
“Very important (to continue implementing martial law) because there were reports that they (terrorist) will infiltrate in peaceful area,” he said.
“That is part of the diversionary attacks… they (terrorists) will conduct violence in peaceful municipalities and replicate the Marawi siege,” Bautista added.
Bautista said the military operation against the terrorists will continue even after Marawi is liberated.
“It will continue we have reports on where they (terrorist) are consolidating,” he said.
He assured the military will meet the 10 to 15 day deadline for the end of the armed conflict in Marawi City given by Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez, the Western Mindanao Command Chief.
Bautista assumed his post as the new commanding general of the Philippine Army in a change of command ceremony that was led by President Rodrigo Duterte in Taguig City.
When asked if he will continue as commander of Joint Task Force Marawi, Bautista said it will defend on the instruction of Gen. Eduardo Ano, the chief of staff of the AFP.
“That will defend on the chief of staff if he will ask me to return there which what I wanted. I want to go back to finish… with the instruction of the chief of staff,” he said. Robina Asido/DMS