AFP to give weight to security body’s proposal on ML extension

MANILA -- The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Wednesday said it will give weight to National Security Adviser (NSA) Secretary Hermogenes Esperon's pronouncements, recommending an extension of martial law in Mindanao beyond the December 31, 2019 deadline.

"National Security Adviser Sec. Hermogenes Esperon Jr. has information from other sources that he made basis for that express position on the matter which the AFP considers with great weight, "AFP spokesperson, Marine Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said in a message to reporters.

He, however, noted that the AFP will look at other parameters from where it will draw its recommendations.

One of the variables the AFP will look into is the prevailing security situation on the ground as it bears on the constitutional requirement for martial law, Arevalo said.

"Another consideration is the approval of important amendments to and introduction of new provisions in the existing Human Security Act that the DND [Department of National Defense] is espousing which will be key to our recommendation," he added.

Arevalo noted that the AFP will take into account the assessments of local chief executives (LCEs).

"Take Davao City for instance. Mayor Sara Duterte sees the improvement in the security situation that led the mayor to propose the lifting of martial law in the city. But while that is the case in Davao City, such may not be the security situation prevailing in Sulu or elsewhere in Mindanao. So we have to make consultations with the LCE and the people before we give our recommendations," he added.

Arevalo said the military will take into account such judgment of LCEs, the assessments of the NSA and of other government agencies, and the actual situation on the ground.

He added the AFP will look at all of these before coming up with its own recommendation to President Duterte through the Secretary of National Defense as to whether or not martial law in Mindanao can be lifted.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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