PRESS Secretary Cerge Remonde is open to the imposition of curfew in Maguindanao if it is called for and allowed by the law.
Remonde, in a radio interview, said it would depend though on the recommendations of the officials on the ground, from the police to Interior secretary Rolando Puno.
“For as long as that it’s within the law, within the powers of the DILG (Department of Interior and Local Government) secretary who was appointed by the President to take charge of the area,” he said.
Remonde said while Martial Law had been lifted in Maguindanao, the state of emergency remains in the area, as well as in Sultan Kudarat and Cotabato City, following continued threats including the presence of private armed groups.
He said National Security Adviser and Acting Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales and Armed Forces Chief of Staff General Victor Ibrado have also been tapped to assist Puno and the Philippine National Police (PNP) under Director General Jesus Verzosa in the monitoring and assessment of conditions on the ground.
“They will take care of the peace and order condition in the area... using the powers that is under the state of emergency," he said, dismissing any need to re-impose martial law.
Martial law was imposed in Maguindanao from December 4 to 12 after initially declaring a state of emergency in November as a result of the massing up of private armed groups following the arrests of several members of the Ampatuan clan led by Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (Armm) Governor Zaldy Ampatuan and Datu Unsay Maguindanao mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr.
The governor was charged with rebellion, while the mayor was charged with multiple murder following the death of 57 individual in Ampatuan in Maguindanao last November 23. (JMR/Sunnex)