By Aaron Recuenco
The Philippine National Police (PNP) assured the public yesterday that it would strictly observe its Police Operational Procedures in all operations against threat groups in Mindanao following Congress approval of one-year extension of Martial Law implementation in the southern part of the country.
PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said that his men who are deployed in Mindanao are also in strict order to respect human rights and rule of law amid fears on the abuses of security forces.
“The Philippine National Police hails the approval by the joint session of Congress of an extension of Martial Law in Mindanao until the end of 2019,” said Albayalde in a statement.
“This is a good day for the people of Mindanao to be assured of another full year of peace and security against the imminent threat of violence from extremist and communist terrorist forces,” he added.
Critics and the members of the political opposition have been questioning the need for the Martial Law extension in Mindanao since there are no existing rebellion and serious threats from terror groups.
It was recalled that Martial Law was first declared in Mindanao due to the Marawi City siege in May last year. The implementation was extended for six months as part of the follow-up operations against threat groups.
In seeking for another one year extension, security officials have been claiming that it is needed to finally defeat terrorism and rebellion in Mindanao.
“Police operations against the New People’s Army, Abu Sayyaf, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and other radical extremist groups will continue without let-up in support of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the local government units,” said Albayalde.
“Rest assured, all PNP operations will be conducted under strict observance of Police Operations Procedures and with due regard and respect for human rights and the rule of law,” he added.