MANILA—Despite the series of New People’s Army (NPA) attacks against military and civilian targets and threat posed by the Abu Sayyaf and other terror groups, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Eduardo Año sees no reason for the declaration of martial law.
He made this statement after noting that the AFP and the Philippine National Police (PNP) still has full control of the security situation.
“Well right now the PNP and the AFP can still operate within the prevailing situation with full control so right now I don’t see a reason why the President will declare martial law, although he has the discretion (and) authority based on the Constitution,” Año said.
And should the Chief Executive ever decides to do so, he said there are checks and balances available to ensure that its declaration are in accordance with Constitutional provisions.
“But right now, we (AFP) don’t see the reason (for doing so),” he added.
Año earlier said that close military and police cooperation is one of the strategies which will be employed by the Duterte administration in defeating the NPA insurgency threat.
He made this statement during the sidelights of the Joint Peace and Security Coordinating Council (JPSCC) meeting in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City on Thursday.
“In our meeting this morning, we strengthened the mechanism of the JPSCC particularly the creation of joint cells at the different levels, so in our planning and actions, the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the AFP, will be always together, down to the provincial level,” he said in Filipino.
Also emphasized in the meeting is that the AFP and PNP will intensify operations to fight and defeat the NPA decisively
“In view of the lifting of the unilateral ceasefire and the cancellation of the talks, we will intensity our operations together—the PNP and the AFP—to fight the NPA to defeat the armed group and put back into jail all those high ranking personalities (earlier released to help in the peace negotiations),” he added.
At the moment, the AFP chief said there is no need for the deployment of additional troops in NPA hot spots in Northern and Eastern Mindanao as the military has enough forces in these areas.