MANILA, Philippines (MDN Mindanao News Digital) – “Mindanao is still under state of lawlessness,” thus said Defense Chief Delfin Lorenzana as he reacted on some people urging for the declaration of Martial Law.
The latest twin bombings that left 15 people dead and 74 others wounded, including five members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the alleged suicide bomber, could not trigger for the declaration of Martial Law, says Lorenzana.
“No need. We have the anti-terror law and Proclamation 55 dated 4 Sep 2016 putting the whole of Mindanao under state of lawlessness. This proclamation has not been lifted yet,” the country’s defense chief clarified.
Senator Panfilo Lacson also added that the Senate passed anti-terror law in 2019 to better address the terrorism problem in Southern Philippines.
“We have passed a strong anti-terrorism law for our security forces to better address terrorism in Mindanao and the rest of the country,” Lacson claimed. The senator was chief author of the terror law and a former chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) organization in the country.
The anti-terror law took effect on July 18. This, after no less than President Duterte signed it into law last July 3.
Critics of the Duterte administration alleged that the law could be used to curtail press freedom. It even became controversial as the law allows warrantless arrest on terror suspects as well as detaining them of up to 24 days even without filing charges.