JTF Central’s Statement on the Declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao

    It is repeatedly and overly emphasized by the government and the AFP leadership that the declaration of Martial Law in the whole Island Group of Mindanao will not, in anyway, threaten the rights of the people we have sworn to serve and protect. All law-abiding citizens have nothing to fear in the implementation of Martial Law as their rights shall be respected at all times.

    Martial Law was declared two days ago with the purpose of restoring peace and order and for the military operations to be able to focus on our efforts to suppress rebellion and violence perpetrated by terrorists and related armed groups, especially that of the Maute group, that seriously threaten and affect the safety and security of the people. The declaration does not have any effect on the functioning of the Local Government Units so long as they are performing their mandates. The suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall apply only to persons judicially charged for rebellion or offenses inherently in or directly connected with the said rebellion. The military can affect warrantless searches and arrests against those who have direct or indirect participation in the rebellion and terroristic actions having been given the lead role as the Philippine National Police now performs the support role. Curfew shall be imposed in selected areas, town, and cities where there is the need to regulate and restrict the movement of the public specially the minors. Checkpoint operations shall be conducted in all strategic locations to check on the movement of lawless and wanted personalities and the proliferation of loose Firearms at the very least. The Joint Task Force Central shall enforce Martial Law with the safety and protection of the people in their respective area of operations being given paramount consideration.