Responding to questions of Liberal Party president Sen. Francis Pangilinan, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Saturday gave the assurance that the government has no plans to declare martial law outside of Mindanao in Luzon and Visayas.
Given the Abu Sayyaf attack in Bohol, will martial law be also declared in the Visayas? And given that the New People’s Army also operates in Luzon, will the island be part of the martial law coverage? asked Pangilinan, echoing the general sentiment of Filipinos around the country.
“Hindi mangyayari yan (It will not happen),” the defense secretary said.
Pangilinan proposed that the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Commission on Human Rights coordinate with human rights groups to submit regular reports on the human rights situation in the martial law-covered areas.
Lorenzana agreed with the proposal.
In his interpellation, the Liberal Party president also pointed out that he accepts that he and his colleagues in the minority are likely to lose in the voting at the joint session discussing the resolution to extend martial law in Mindanao until 31 December 2017.