Cayetano: No abuses under Mindanao martial law

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MANILA, May 30 — Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano on Tuesday assured there were no abuses under martial law in Mindanao, noting it was imposed as a necessity to address terrorism and rebellion.

“May i assure you that the President and the government remain steadfast in its commitment to uphold the Philippine Constitution and ensure that efforts to enforce peace and order are done with due regard to the laws and preservation of our people’s constitutional rights. In other words, no abuses,” he said during the diplomatic corps briefing on the current security situation in Mindanao.

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Cayetano noted it was hoped that President Rodrigo Duterte would be able to institute needed reforms without declaring martial law in any parts of the country.

“However, due to actual rebellion, terrorism and the presence of ISIS on Philippine soil, the declaration of martial law in Mindanao became a necessity,” he said.

President Duterte on May 23 declared martial law in the entire Mindanao island, which would effect for 60 days.

After the briefing to the diplomatic corps, the DFA chief said diplomats offered assistance especially once people in Marawi City return to their normal lives.

“They (diplomatic corps) are concerned about livelihood, agriculture, fisheries,” Cayetano said, noting that other countries recognized that there would be more recruitment for rebellion after the terrorist attacks.

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“But I also assured them that the government is pulling its resources not only in the military side of addressing rebellion but also on the socio-economic side of showing each and every Filipino na mahal sila ng Pilipinas (that Philippines loves them),” he added.

Cayetano said many of these countries understand the situation in Mindanao, as many of them have had their own challenges with terror attacks.

For his part, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Asst. Secretary Epimaco Densing III said that based on reports from intelligence groups, there were no spillover of the Maute terror attack in Metro Manila.

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“Although the directive of DILG to PNP (Philippine National Police) is to be in above normal security status primary to ensure public safety, to ensure there will be no spillover in Metro Manila. Above normal (security status means) everybody should be on duty 24/7,” he told reporters.

Densing said the duration of martial law declaration depends on the advice of the military and the PNP on the level of threats in Mindanao. (PNA)#DEFENDREPUBLIC

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