By Chito Chavez
Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año on Monday agreed that the declaration of martial law may be a viable option in the wake of recent violent incidents where New People’s Army (NPA) rebels attacked local officials and their personnel who were on relief distribution mission in the midst of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Año, in an interview with GMA 7, said leftist groups have taken advantage of the health crisis as attacks on government men and their escorts who were distributing social amelioration aid to residents affected by the health crisis were reported.
He said this is the reason why President Duterte is considering the possibility of declaring martial due to the persistent violent offensives of the rebel group on barangay officials and military personnel.
Año said that when the need to declare martial law arises, he will fully support the President’s decision.
President Duterte had earlier threatened to declare martial law to eradicate the NPA following reports from the military that communist rebels blocked the aid intended for Samar province beneficiaries.
On Friday, a police officer and a local government official were wounded after alleged NPA gunmen attacked a police vehicle in Masbate’s Monreal town.
Año scored the rebel groups for resorting to violent attacks victimizing government men who are doing relief operations.