Military to follow DND guidelines on implementing martial law in Mindanao
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) vows to follow the guideline by the Department of National Defense (DND) in implementing the martial law declared by President Rodrigo Duterte in Mindanao.
“We would like to emphasize that it is the greater interest of the public that is at the heart of the implementation of martial law and that the armed forces will clearly go by all the guidelines that will be issued and the issued guidelines recently by the DND where emphasis has been placed on upholding the rule of law and to abide and hold established laws pertaining to human rights,” said Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla, AFP spokesman, Friday.
He also assured human rights violations during previous martial law declarations will not be repeated.
“On this account, there are many quarters that have been raising issues. They are people livening in the past. I would like to state that under the new basis for which martial law is declared, those of the past are very different from the way it is going to be implemented today,” Padilla said.
“Our armed forces is a new armed forces that you should trust. We are the armed forces of the people whose oath is to protect the state and every citizen of this country. And we will do that even at the cost of our lives as you have been seeing in the many months that we have been fighting this threat,” he said.
“I would like to just emphasize that there is no reason for the public to be alarmed and fear the declaration of martial law as this is intended to address rebellion in Mindanao that is happening,” Padilla added.
“May I also emphasize that law-abiding citizens need not worry as this is aimed at lawless elements involved in rebellious activities,” he noted.
Padilla asked the public to report any abuses among the martial law implementers.
“On account of the doubts that have been expressed by many quarters, we also appeal to the public that should you see abuses on the part of those implementing martial law, men in uniform who are tasked to do that, we encourage you to report them and on our hand, we will provide you a swift probe and a quick action to ensure the accountability of our men,” he said.
“Finally on this topic, while we maintain that martial law does not target peace-inclined groups, we will enforce the law uniformly such that all violators of the law, regardless of group affiliations, will be dealt with accordingly,” he added.
Padilla also calls for the full cooperation and support of the people to avoid inconvenience.
“And hence, in this regard, we do request the public to be patient in the measures that will have to be undertaken to ensure that we are doing and going in that direction, part of which is the establishment of checkpoints in all areas and the possible declaration of curfew hours in certain parts of Mindanao,” he said.
“These measures will be implemented because of the necessity for national security and the safety of the people. Such measures will be announced ahead of time and we encourage the public, we ask them and request them, to please extend your full cooperation to avoid any inconvenience,” he added. Robina Asido/DMS