MANILA -- The Aquino administration is studying the lifting of state of emergency being implemented in three areas in Central Mindanao since the Maguindanao massacre.

President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III on Monday said the presidential legal counsel and the Executive Secretary are reviewing the status of the state of emergency declared in Maguindanao, Cotabato City, and Sultan Kudarat.

Aquino said he would want to know whether the declaration will be automatically lifted when the term of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who made the declaration, ended.

“We didn’t agree with its imposition to begin with that’s why I am awaiting for their output if there is a need to lift it or not,” he told reporters following his first command conference in the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Arroyo placed the three provinces under state of emergency last year after the gruesome Maguindanao carnage which killed at least 57 people last November 23.

Former Executive Secretary Leandro Mendoza, before Mrs. Arroyo stepped down, said that the state of emergency will remain since the provinces are not stable yet because of threats coming from the private armed groups. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)