Authorities Promote Awareness, Allay Public’s Fears on Martial Law

DAVAO ORIENTAL – Authorities have assured the public of the lawful observance of the Martial Law, allaying the public’s apprehensions over its declaration and extension in Mindanao until the end of the year.

On Monday, July 24, a team of lawyers from the Legal Office of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Eastern Mindanao Command have joined the Philippine Army’s 701st Brigade and the Davao Oriental Provincial Police Office during a press conference in order to present to the public the basic and salient features of the Martial Law implementation.

The team of lawyers headed by Atty. Virgel Amor Vallejos said the Congress’ approval to President Rodrigo Duterte’s request for the extension of Martial Law in Mindanao is in response to the rebellion and the ensuing violence and terror acts inflicted by the Maute Group in Marawi, Lanao del Sur.

He said the rebellion prompted the government to take drastic measures in order to keep peace and order in Marawi. Further, a strong basis for its declaration, Vallejos added, is to prevent the spillover of the violent conflict in other parts of the Island and to thwart the entry of aid and support to the ‘terrorist’ group who had been causing the turmoil and unrest in the city.  

Atty. Melanie Domino said that aside from campaigning for public awareness on the basic guidelines on the Martial Law under the 1987 Constitution, it is also important for the public to know the lead role of the military in its implementation.

In the Province of Davao Oriental, the Philippine Army and the Philippine National Police are working side-by-side to maintain peace and order.

Cpt. Andrew Linao of the Philippine Army’s 701st Brigade said the military has been intensifying security efforts in the province by conducting checkpoints and surveillance, as well as increased visibility of military troops in the communities.

He disclosed that there are evacuees or Internally Displaced Persons who have been taking refuge here as they fled the horrors of the conflict in Marawi. He said all the concerned agencies, particularly the Philippine National Red Cross, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office and the Provincial Governor’s Office have extended aid and have been looking after the displaced families.

Davao Oriental Provincial Police Office (DOPPO) Provincial Director PSSUPT Harry Espela assured the public that the police together with the military will abide by the rules and guidelines in the implementation of the Martial Law. He asked for the people’s cooperation to the authorities especially in the conduct of checkpoints.

Both the police and the military vowed that they will continue to execute their duties to protect and secure the people. By Karen Lou Deloso

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