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AFP: Martial law needed

CEBU, Philippines - Armed Forces spokesman Lt. Col. Romeo Brawner said yesterday placing Maguindanao under martial law was necessary to recover more arms caches of the Ampatuan family.

“Our informants said there are still a lot of arms caches so without martial law, we cannot proceed immediately without a warrant of arrest,” he said.

Brawner said Maguindanao is a special case because the government is dealing with armed groups who can, at anytime, launch an attack.

Vice Gov. Akhmad Ampatuan has declared war against the government when he told an armed group that they should fight to the death, he added, quoting Interior Secretary Ronaldo Puno.

Lt. Col. Michael Samson, spokesman for military operations in Maguindanao, said the arms were seized under watchful eye of media.

“We bring the media with us when we conduct raids to show the public that we are transparent in our operations,” he said.

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Military operations under martial law have been done done with the highest regard for human rights, the Armed Forces said. — /NLQ (FREEMAN NEWS)

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