THE Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) recommended that the state of emergency in Maguindanao province must continue until the May election ends.

AFP Eastern Mindanao Command chief Lieutenant General Raymundo Ferrer said the military will only recommend for the lifting of the state of emergency in the province once the security situation has stabilized and the newly-elected officials are sworn into office.

For updates from around the country, follow Sun.Star on Twitter

The recommendation was made during the meeting of the National Security Council at the Malacañang last Tuesday.

Ferrer said they are planning to implement a curfew in Maguindanao from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. of the following day.

Ferrer said the curfew implementation was raised after several incidents of ransacking and robberies in the province the past weeks.

It can be recalled that the provincial capitol of Maguindanao, which is heavily guarded, was ransacked by unidentified men. Several mansions of the Ampatuans were also attacked and ransacked, with the office of the regional Commission on Elections (Comelec) being the latest.

The state of emergency extension will also be implemented to neighboring areas -- Sultan Kudarat and Cotabato City, the military said. (BOT)