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On martial law declaration; “Trust Duterte” – Federal Party chair

(The Freeman) - May 25, 2017 - 4:00pm

CEBU, Philippines - “Let us trust the President Rodrigo Duterte. His judgment is the best judgment as of now, and we will observe how Congress will react to the declaration of martial law in Mindanao,” said lawyer Joel Obar, national chairman of the Peoples Solidarity Federal Party, yesterday in Dumaguete City.

Obar said the president is in the process of exhausting all remedies to protect the country and trusting the president now is the most important thing to do.

Obar also believed that an international hand is orchestrating and manipulating this terrorism to happen. “If this can happen in Marawi City, it can happen anywhere in the country,” he said.

“There is something wrong in the present situation, and the Federal Party observed that it seemed there’s a higher authority orchestrating all of these,” he said.

Obar enjoined provincial leaders of the PSFP to rally behind the decision of Duterte, hoping that the Marawi incident was not part of a large destabilization move because if this is so then the president was correct in declaring martial law over the whole of Mindanao.

In Negros Occidental

Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. said Duterte’s martial law declaration was long overdue. He urged all local government units to cooperate and called for vigilance against all forms of lawlessness.

The Army’s 303rd Infantry Brigade and the Police Regional Office-18 (Negros Island Region) also placed on full alert their subordinate units, in anticipation for possible spillover of lawlessness in the region.

Marañon and Colonel Eliezer Losañes, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, asked the public to report immediately any presence of armed groups in their areas, and to refrain from spreading unverified information in the social media, which may cause alarm and panic.

Chief Superintendent Edmund Gonzales, newly designated PRO-18 director, also ordered all police units, especially in the coastal areas of the island, to monitor closely the entry of pump boats that may be used in ferrying terrorists from other islands.

Negros Occ. Provincial Board Member Alain Gatuslao, said “Martial law under the 1987 Constitution is different from that of the 1973 Constitution. The president is correct in using all available means to end the conflict and under the present constitution there are limitations compares to those in the past.”

PB Member Salvador Escalante, said: “Duterte has information privy only to a sitting president. The most we could do is pray that he be guided by the Almighty in his decision.”

In Eastern Visayas

The entire force of the Police Regional Office-Region 8 and the Army’s 8th Infantry Division the other day, while condemning the terrorists’ attack in Marawi City, capital of Lanao del Sur, raised their full alert status over Eastern Visayas.

PRO-8 Community Relations chief, Senior Superintendent Eleazar Igloso, in a press statement said the police forces in the region are in constant alert and they are willing to send their troops to Mindanao whenever needed as reinforcement troops.

Representative Rogelio Espina of the lone district of Biliran province expressed his support of Duterte’s declaration of martial law in Mindanao, provided that no reported human rights abuses and other acts that will result in chaos in that area.

Espina also said Filipinos should remain calm and security conscious, while the members of the House of Representatives are in close watch with the situation in Mindanao. "We in Congress will review on action taken. Puwede ito matigil kung mag-exceed siya (Duterte) ng authority, particularly the military and the police.”

In Western Visayas

In Western Visayas, the Police Regional Office-6 has not monitored any threat coming from terrorist group from Mindanao, but it put the region on full alert status Wednesday morning.

Superintendent Gilbert Gorero, PRO-6 spokesman, said the full alert would mean that all leaves are cancelled, and that provincial and city police directors were told to strengthen security measures by guarding entry and exit points around the region, with checkpoints at any time and place.

Field commanders were also instructed to coordinate with Muslim communities and barangay officials in their areas of responsibility. Gorero believed that the police have the support of the Muslim community in Region 6, after declaring in a covenant that they are against any form of terrorism.

Brigadier General Jon Aying, 3rd Infantry Division commander, said terrorists from Mindanao would find it hard to penetrate Catholic-dominated areas like Western Visayas. “Unlike in Mindanao, it's difficult for them to scout for support from the civilian sector here,” he added. (FREEMAN)

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