Halting martial law in Mindanao will affect military operations: AFP
Stopping the implementation of the extension of martial law in Mindanao will have a negative affect on ongoing military operations, Armed Forces of the Philippine (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero. said Tuesday.
“Off course it has. We expect that it (stopping of martial law) will have significant effects on our operations, considering that bulk of our operations will be in Mindanao, and we will be relying and depending on some of the martial law powers,” Guerrero told reporters in Camp Aguinaldo.
Guerrero said operations that may be affected include the “conduct of checkpoints operation, conduct of vigilance patrols, visibility patrols and of course the intensified military operations.”
It can be recalled there are separate petitions that were filed before the Supreme Court to stop the implementation of martial law extension in Mindanao.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana confirmed they are preparing their briefing in case the court will call them to respond on the issues.
“That is the job of the Solicitor General (SolGen) because it is actually a question of law but we are preparing our briefing for the Supreme Court. If the Supreme Court calls us to be briefed on the extension of martial law we will be going there together with the Solicitor General and the lawyers of the Solicitor General's office,” Lorenzana said in an interview in Fort Magsaysay on Monday.
“We will follow the same argument like what we did last time in July when we went to the Supreme Court to defend the extension of martial law from July to December 31st,” he added.
Lorenzana said the military will focus on its combat operation against terrorists in Mindanao during the implementation of martial law, but he added operations against the communistswill continue.
“We will be pursuing the Maute/ISIS group. Now if there are other groups that would like to fight, the government then we will be conducting normal military operations against them,” he said.
“We are actually conducting operations also against the communist terrorists even without Martial Law so that is just normal so since there is martial law in Mindanao... but the main purpose of the extension of martial law is to eradicate once and for all the ISIS-related threat to our country,” he added. Robina Asido/DMS