AFP Spokesman tells Martial Law critics: Stop living in the past

“Trustworthy” Armed forces of the People is what Gen. Restituto Padilla assured the public in matters of Martial Law.

The AFP spokesman noted that the law abiding citizen doesn’t need to worry because the declaration of Martial law in the Mindanao is only against the rebellious activities done that are in opposed to the law.

The Department of National Defense (DND) would be followed by the military and that the implementation of martial law is focused on the greater interest of the public.

Padilla stressed that the declared Martial Law by the former President Ferdinand Marcos is a different as that of what President Duterte is imposing.

“Our Armed Forces is a new Armed Forces that you should trust. We are the Armed Forces of the people whose oath is to protect the state and every citizen of this country. And we will do that even at the cost of our lives, as you have been seeing in the many months that we have been fighting this threat,” he said.

The military requested for to those who are in possession of loose firearms are encourage to surrender them to the authorities.

“We encourage them to surrender them to authorities or to initiate appropriate measures to legalize their possession of firearms, so that you will not be subject to the inconvenience of future search and seizure procedures,” Padilla said.

Marawi City is currently on restoration, and Padilla asks the peace-loving Filipinos to be Patient while military does their job not just in the said city but the whole of Mindanao.

“We do request the public to be patient in the measures that will have to be undertaken to ensure that we are doing and going in that direction, part of which is the establishment of checkpoints in all areas and the possible declaration of curfew hours in certain parts of Mindanao,” he explained.

He also reiterated that the implementation of such law is necessary for national security and safety of the people. “Such measures will be announced ahead of time and we encourage the public, we ask them and request them, to please extend your full cooperation to avoid any inconvenience,” he added

On the fears on abuses of the military that they may do while the implementation is being generated,Padilla said the AFP is open to reports or complaints.

“On account of the doubts that have been expressed by many quarters, we also appeal to the public that should you see abuses on the part of those implementing martial law, men in uniform who are tasked to do that, we encourage you to report them and on our part, we will provide you a swift probe and a quick action to ensure the accountability of our men,” he said. 

He repeated that the declaration was to establish law and order and the rules of the law. “In areas where this is apparently breaking down, we shall be very strict and we shall be very harsh for those who are committing acts of rebellion,” he added.

Censure of information

It would exercise its right to censure information, even though the military has not recommended the suspension of the freedom of expression.

Padilla explained that to ensure the safety of the public, operational security and the safety of soldiers censuring would be done. The rules on how information would be censured would form part of the guidelines now being crafted.

“You yourselves have seen that tremendous disinformation clouds or creates a thick fog of war that does not allow or provide a better operational picture of the battlefield and this is one that creates a lot of collateral damage which we want to avoid,” he added.

Security officials would conduct briefings on martial law implementation every day, including Saturdays and Sundays sa until martial rule is done, according to Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said.

Source: Philstar