Palace memo nothing to do with martial law

Published November 26, 2018, 5:18 PM

by Patrick Garcia

By Aaron Receunco

The Philippine National Police (PNP) assured on Monday that President Duterte’s order to deploy more soldiers and policemen in Bicol region and some parts of the Visayas is not a prelude to nationwide declaration of martial law.

PNP CHIEF DIR GEN. Oscar Albayalde, speaks during a press conferecne about the recently concluded Barangay and SK Election 2018, at the PNP National Election Monitoring Center (NEMAC) at Camp Crame in Quezon City, May 15 2018. According to the PNP, the election is generally peaceful. (Mark Balmores)
PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde
(Mark Balmores / MANILA BULLETIN)

PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said the Memorandum Order 32 is just meant to give the government the upper hand against communist rebels who have been conducting attacks against security forces in the past months.

“Of course not. Remember, the State has the obligation to protect its citizen from lawlessness. This is part of it,” said Albayalde.

Concerns were raised on the Memorandum Order 32 over speculations that it could be a prelude to the expansion of martial law implementation nationwide.

Martial law is currently in effect over Mindanao, since the start of the Marawi siege in May last year, and there is a pending resolution in the Congress to further extend it.

As part of the compliance on the Palace order, the PNP is eyeing the deployment of a company of the elite Special Action Force (SAF) in every area mentioned in the Memorandum Order.

Areas mentioned in the memorandum order were Bicol, Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental and Samar.

Albayalde explained that the memorandum was based on the series of rebel attacks in the areas mentioned—the rebel attack in a police station in Samar, the Sagay massacre in Negros Occidental and ambush of cops in Bicol.

“These might have triggered why the memorandum order was issued. This is all because of internal security,” said Albayalde.

“Nakita ng ating Presidente na medyo siguro with the series of incidents sa mga lugar na yun kailangan dagdagan yung ating puwersa doon. It has nothing to do with martial law,” he added.