No martial law in Basilan — Malacañang

April 15, 2010 11:41 pm 

MANILA, April 15 — Malacañang scoffed today at proposals to declare martial law in Basilan in the aftermath of recent bomb attacks from the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in Isabela City.

“The level of concern that we should have over what is happening in Basilan does not rise to a level that would warrant a serious consideration of martial law for the time being,” Presidential Deputy Spokesperson Gary Olivar said in a press briefing.

Olivar indicated that the siege of Isabela City by the ASG could not be compared with the situation on Maguindanao, which was briefly placed under martial law following the November 23, 2009 massacre of 57 people, mostly journalists.

Basilan Bishop Martin Jumoad has asked President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to “suspend some civil liberties and to declare martial law” after the ASG attacks that left 15 people dead and dozen others wounded.

Olivar said that if there were serious proposals to declare martial law, the security authorities will study it before recommending it to President Arroyo.

“I am not aware of moves to review that possibility” he added.

The government has already mobilized the anti-terrorism task force and dispatched more troops to Basilan to go after the ASG. (PNA)

scs/OPS/ssc

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