& # 39; Too early to talk about the expansion of martial law & # 39;
Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) – September 1, 2018 – 00:00
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang has ceased to talk about the possibility of expanding the state of siege in parts of Mindanao after the deadly attacks in Sultan Kudarat that killed three people and several others were injured last Tuesday.
President spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said yesterday that it is too early to talk about an extension since the previous proclamation in the martial law issued by the Congress until the end of the year.
While ignoring the statement of executive secretary Salvador Medialdea about the principle of primus inter pares or first among equals, Roque said that the president has not yet considered seeking an extension.
Any extension of martial law in the region requires consultation between the executive and the security cluster of the cabinet.
Roque pointed out that December is still far away when the president will ask Congress to extend the state of siege, not at all.
He said that Duterte, as Commander-in-Chief, will demand the recommendation of the Philippines forces on the matter.
Recently, speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said she supports the third extension of martial law in Mindanao. She was seconded by Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr., who stated that Congress would extend martial law if the president requests it.
"We thank Congress for their cooperation, but as I said, the decision whether or not to expand will be a recommendation from our security forces and they have not given us any recommendation," Roque said.
CHR probes bombing
The Human Rights Commission (CHR) conducts its own investigation into the bombing of Sultan Kudarat, which took the lives of three people and wounded more than 30 others.
In a statement, the regional office of the CHR in Soccsksargen (South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos City) condemned the incident and expressed solidarity with the families of the victims of the bomb attack on 28 August in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat .
"The CHR region XII is currently conducting an investigation into the incident," it added in Filipino.
The committee has yet to comment on proposals to extend the declaration of martial law in Mindanao after the bombing.
But in an earlier statement, the CHR spokesman, Jacqueline de Guia, said the government should abolish martial law because the army could maintain order without peace.
"With the liberation of Marawi there is no reason to extend the martial law and (the CHR) instead, urges the government to abolish it," she said at the end of the Marawi crisis last November.
"The commission has consistently maintained that it has complete confidence in the ability of the armed forces to maintain peace and order in Mindanao," added De Guia.
Sultan Kudarat officials have said that they are not against the extension of martial law.
The Philippine national police (PNP) has deployed bomb experts to help with the investigation of the explosion during a festival in Isulan.
PNP Chief Executive Officer Oscar Albayalde sent staff from the Explosives Ordnance Disposal and Canine Group (EOD / K9) and Bomb Data Center to the Operations Directorate (DO) to support their researchers in Isulan. – With Janvic Mateo, Emmanuel Tupas