'There is no overkill in declaring Martial law in Maguindanao' –Palace

December 6, 2009 1:43 am 

MANILA, Dec. 5 –There is no overkill in the declaration of martial law in the province of Maguindanao, Press Secretary Cerge Remonde said on Saturday.

Remonde said the declaration of martial law in Maguindanao would help government find the killers behind the Nov. 23 massacre of 57 people.

“Malinaw ang objective natin sa paggawa nito. This is in response to the cry for justice of the families of the victims. Our objective is to arrest the suspects, protect the witnesses, dismantle private armies, ensure press freedom in the area, and of course, stop the rebellion,” Remonde said at a press briefing this afternoon.

Remonde also said there was no need for the extension of the martial law in Maguindanao if all suspects involved in the gruesome murders were arrested and cases were filed against them.

“If all of these can be accomplished in less than 60 days, well and good. I’m sure our policemen and our soldiers are going to do their best and will make this as short and as brief as possible. No one wants to prolong this (crisis),” he said.

PNP police Director for Operation Andres Caro II confirmed the arrests of Maguindanao Gov. Andal Ampatuan Sr., Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Gov. Zaldy Ampatuan, Maguindanao Vice Gov. Ahkmad Datu Ampatuan, Shariff Aguak Mayor Anwar Ampatuan, Shariff Aguak Sangguniang Bayan members Faisal Sulaik and Kahoner Ampatuan, and ARMM Agriculture Secretary Kaiser Usman.

Remonde said the declaration of martial law in Maguindanao would not effect the country’s economy, tourism, and overall peace and order.

“We believe that this decisive action taken by government will improve the image of government,” Remonde said. (PNA) RMA/OPS/rsm


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