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Mindanao remains under state of emergency — AFP

Jaime Laude - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Mindanao remains under a state of emergency even though martial law was lifted on Tuesday.

Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, spokesman for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), yesterday said Proclamation 55, which  President Duterte issued on Sept. 4, 2016 placing Mindanao under a state of national emergency following the bombing of the Roxas market in Davao City, remains in effect.

Arevalo said the military would continue to reman vigilant to prevent lawlessness by private armed groups, bandits, criminal gangs, terrorist groups and religious extremists.

“If our enemies see that we have become relaxed in terms of security they may slip through again,” Arevalo said in a radio interview.

He said checkpoints and mobile patrols will continue.

Under the proclamation, the Departments of National Defense and the Interior and Local Government will deploy additional police and military personnel ”without causing undue alarm to the public” as well as intensify intelligence operations against anyone committing or conspiring to commit lawless violence.

The President lifted martial law in Mindanao upon the recommendation of security officials, who said extremist rebellion in Marawi City and other concerned areas has been addressed.

Martial law was declared in May 2017, two months after Maute and Abu Sayyaf bandits attacked Marawi. It lasted for two years and seven months after three extensions.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the AFP is not recalling its forces in Mindanao.

“The number of troops will remain as is wherever they are and will continue to collaborate with local government units to sustain peace and stability,” Lorenzana said.  –With Edith Regalado

AFP

EDGARD AREVALO

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