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Martial law extension in Mindanao ‘last resort’ – Esperon

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By Prince Golez

Extending martial law in Mindanao should be the “last resort” for the government, according to National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr.

During a forum in Malacanang Park on Thursday, Esperson said the possible extension of martial law needs an “extensive” study.

“We have had a discussion on that in the national security cluster but we still would like to think that the extension of martial law should be on a last resort basis,” he said.

“Kailangan hindi ‘yun ang uunahin nating iniisip kung ‘di isipin natin kung ano ‘yung kailangan doon sa Mindanao.”

Based on the feedback of the people, Esperson said they learned that the “majority of the people of Mindanao” are in favor of another extension of martial law.

“We are aware that the (Philippine National Police) has come out with a statement of support for the extension as well as the secretary of Interior and Local Government, but let that be part of the recommendations that will go up to the President when it is time to decide and ask Congress for an extension for another period however long it will be,” the former Armed Forces chief of staff said.

He added, “Pag-uusapan pa natin ‘yan. As I said, it is an instrument for us that will be considered as a last resort, but if it is needed as dictated by the situation and the desire of the people, then so be it. Susundin natin ‘yun.”