The govenrment is searching for an extension of martial law in Mindanao not solely to run after the remaining members of the Maute terror group but in addition to crush the communist rebels.
“Martial law, it should not be looked at as the solution to everything there but certainly we need martial law to address the armed threat,” National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. instructed Senate reporters on Wednesday (July 19), in defending the need of the martial law extension till the top of the 12 months.
“Remember that the threat is not only in Marawi because the Abu Sayyaf group (ASG) is all over. They are in Sulu, Basilan etc. The BIFFs (Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters) some of them joined the Marawi operations. So hindi lang Marawi ang involved dito and to the right side would be the bulk of the NPA. That’s also part of the things we want to solve in Mindanao,” he mentioned.
Esperon was among the many safety officers who briefed the senators on the the implementation of martial law in Mindanao.
He, nevertheless, denied giving the President recommendation on the interval of the martial law extnesion, saying that many of the suggestions got here from the protection and army officers.
“By my understanding, the extension would be their (Congress members’) turf, that would be their decision (how long it will be),” Esperon mentioned.
“I must say that the senators, in most cases, in agreement with us that we still need the martial law in Mindanao but nothing could be final until we have the joint session on Saturday which we will attend. From my perspective, it’s not really a matter of whether we would extend martial law or not. What matters is what we want to do in Mindanao,” he added.
Esperon, nonetheless, defended the President’s stance on the necessity to have martial law enforced throughout the subsequent 5 months given the quantity of reconstruction and rehabilitation that they need to undertake not
solely in Marawi however all the southern area.
“Marami kasi tayong gagawin, aside from the projects of course andyan na yung reconstruction, rehab and these does not involve only physical reconstruction and rehab, kailangan mo dyan ng de-radicalization, countering violent extremism which are long-term activities that we should pursue (as well as) good governance. You cannot do that in five months,” he defined.
“Ako naman, I’m speaking from the attitude of the national safety
which is shepherding the peace course of having the ability to pursue
developmental initiatives, conflict in opposition to unlawful medicine, pursue some reforms
in governance in Mindanao,” Esperon added.
The NSA chief famous the inclusion of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) within the efforts to forge peace with the Muslim secessionist teams simultaneous with the continued peace course of with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
“We must be able to shepherd those because we cannot afford to be fighting again for another half century. We need peace and stability in Mindanao because we have to pursue developmental projects – trains, roads, bridges, seaports, agricultural activities, putting up power plants and many more. We cannot do this kung magulo sa Mindanao,” he mentioned.
But it’s completely up to Congress whether or not to grant the request made by
the President when Congress, in joint session, focus on and deliberate
the proposed extension of martial law on Saturday, Esperon mentioned.
“I am not authorized to say if some senators opposed or not but I must say there was a very healthy discussion, open discussion, very frank discussion and on the whole I think we understand each other. But I sense that they are willing to extend martial law,” he mentioned.