Too early to talk about ML extension: AFP spox

MANILA Despite the second improvised explosive device (IED) attack in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) believes that it is still early to talk about extending Martial Law in Mindanao.

"It's too early for us (AFP) to talk about that, ang pwede ko lang sabihin sa inyo ay patuloy ang ginagawang pag-aaral, pag-assess sa ating(What I can say is that we continue to study and assess the) (security) situations at base sa ating makikita ay (and based on what we see), we will make appropriate security briefings to our Commander-in-Chief and from there, he will be the one to determine if there is a need to extend Martial Law," AFP spokesperson Col. Edgard Arevalo said in a press briefing Monday.

He added that coordination and communication with other security and law enforcement agencies is ongoing to prevent possible spillovers of the incident.

Initial reports also indicated that the components used in the IED attack in Barangay Calawag 2 which killed two persons and wounded 14 others consist of black powder, concrete nails and a PVC pipe canister.

The AFP spokesperson also stressed that the two IED attacks in Isulan town, which was perpetrated by the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, was conducted in a bid to disrupt ongoing military operations against them.

"We urge every individual�every man or woman, young or old�to be vigilant and to be actively involved in reporting their observation of any suspicious activities or persons in their localities," he added.

Martial law in Mindanao was declared on May 23, 2017 following attacks launched by the Maute Group in Marawi City. The House of Representatives, in a special joint session in July last year, granted the extension of martial law until Dec. 31, 2017 at the President Rodrigo Duterte's request.

The Senate and House of Representatives, convening in a joint session early December last year, granted the Chief Executive's request for the extension of martial law and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus for a period of one year from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2018. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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