AFP says possible expansion of martial law outside Mindanao depends on "future actions of our adversary"
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Rey Leonardo Guerrero said a possible expansion of martial law outside Mindanao will defend on future actions of enemies of the state.
“As for the (martial law in) other parts of the country nobody can tell, it will depend on new developments and of course it will also depend on the actions, future actions of our adversary,” Guerrero told reporters in Camp Aguinaldo Friday.
“It’s too far in the future for me to project, let’s just see, our actions will also depend on the political situation, and also the reaction of our adversaries, if they become violent maybe the answer is obvious,” he added.
Guerrero said because of the extension of martial law in Mindanao the military will intensify its operation in southern Philippines except in Marawi City.
“Probably there are less skirmishes in Marawi because we are windng down there but in other parts particularly in the New People’s Army (NPA) affected areas they can expect more of the actions that are now being taken by the military now. Maybe it will be intensified in terms of scope and coverage,” he said.
“Intensified in the sense that... they can expect more of patrols, checkpoints, specially the population centers because we are after the establishment of visibility and presence in these population centers to deter this terrorist actions,” Guerrro added.
Guerrero also noted that intensified military operation will be done as part of the AFP’s effort to address the all the threat group in the country, especially in Mindanao.
“They can expect a more focused military, intensified focused military operations shall be conducted nationwide, most especially in Mindanao,” he said.
“To address first and foremost the remnant of ISIS threat groups and secondly all other threat groups to include the CPP-NPA,” he added.
Guerrero also confirmed that the military is planning to request for an additional budget to support the one-year extension of martial law implementation but he does not have a figure ready.
“We are planning to request as additional support. We do not have an estimate but for now as I said without additional support, the AFP is able to operate and perform its mission given the resources that we have,” he said.
“We still have to work on its implementation (of the extension of martial law)… next year,” he added. Robina Asido/DMS