Nilinaw ngayon ng Malacañang na hindi panimula ng martial law ang inisyung Memorandum Order 32 ng Palasyo, na nag-aatas sa Philippine National Police (PNP) at Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), upang magdagdag ng puwersa sa apat na lalawigan kung saan may mataas na insidente ng lawless violence.
Ito ay ang Samar, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental at Bicol.
Ayon kay Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, mas mahigpit lang na pagpapatupad ng batas upang mapigilan ang karahasan o terorismo ang gagawin sa apat na nabanggit na lalawigan.
Paliwanag pa ni Panelo, problema sa insurgency, terorismo at iba pang gaya ng away sa pagitan ng mga magsasaka at landlords ang nag-udyok sa Malacañang para maglabas ng nabanggit na Memorandum Order.
Tipping point din ayon sa Presidential Spokesperson ang pangyayari sa Sagay, Negros Occidental para gawin ng Palasyo ang hakbang, na magdagdag ng puwersa ng pulis at militar habang patuloy silang nakakatanggap ng report na may kaugnayan sa karahasan sa apat na nabanggit na probinsiya.
“On Memorandum Order No. 32” The Palace views with concern the growing number of sporadic acts of violence that have recently occurred in various areas of the country, particularly in Samar, Negros Oriental, Negros Occidental, and the Bicol Region, which have been committed by lawless groups.
In the past months, a wave of lawless violence occurred in the aforesaid places with the entire nation watching or hearing in horror the killing and ambush of uniformed personnel, attacks on police stations, torching and destruction of equipment, massacre of civilians, and murders of local officials.
In the island of Samar, incidents of violence include, among others, ambush of soldiers providing relief to victims of a typhoon in Northern Samar, armed attack at the police station in Lapinig, ambush attack against the 63rd Infantry Battalion in Matuguinao, and assault on the former mayor of San Jose de Buan.
We have also witnessed acts of lawlessness in the province of Negros Oriental such as, but not limited to, torching of heavy equipment in Manjuyod, strafing of the house of the barangay chairman, attack of police detachments, and the killing of a police chief in separate occasions in Guihulngan, and in the province Negros Occidental such as attack against the 62nd Infantry Battalion while conducting clearing and combat operations in preparation for the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections in Kabankalan and the massacre of 9 farmers in Sagay.
The Bicol Region has also suffered from a series of instances of lawless violence which include the ambush of the convoy of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Director-General Nela Charade Puno in Camarines Sur, firefights in Lagonoy, and clash in Bato, among others.
The President, through Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, thus issued Memorandum Order (MO) No. 32, reinforcing the guidelines of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) in the implementation of measures to suppress and prevent such acts of lawless violence while ensuring the respect and protection of the fundamental rights of our citizenry.
The Order is in accordance with Proclamation No. 55 where the President declared a state of national emergency on account of lawless violence and ordered the AFP and PNP not just to suppress any and all forms of lawless violence in Mindanao but also to prevent such lawless violence from spreading and escalating elsewhere in the Philippines.
Particular directives have been issued to concerned government agencies for the effective implementation of this Order.
First, the Department of National Defense (DND) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) are tasked to coordinate the immediate deployment of additional AFP and PNP forces in suppressing acts of terror in the aforementioned localities.
Second, the AFP, PNP, and the Department of Justice (DOJ) are directed to intensify local and transnational intelligence operations against those suspected of or responsible for committing acts of lawless violence. They shall also coordinate with other agencies in investigating and prosecuting those apprehended for such crimes.
Third, all local government units are enjoined to fully support and cooperate in the Order’s implementation.
Finally, the Order reflects the President’s assurance to our people that authorities will continue respecting and giving due regard to the constitutional rights of all individuals while it is in place. Civil and political rights, as well as all existing rules and applicable jurisprudence during a state of national emergency, shall remain observed by agents of the AFP and PNP.
All these measures are being undertaken pursuant to the constitutional command to the President to serve and protect the people. – Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo