AFP chief recommends lifting of state of emergency in Maguindanao and nearby areas

July 30, 2010 12:05 pm 

CAMP SIONGCO, Maguidnanao, July 30 – The military has recommended the lifting of state of emergency (SOE) in Maguindanao, about eight months after it was declared in the province following the Maguindanao massacre of 57 people.

Armed Forces chief of Staff Gen. Ricardo David, after conferring with Eastern Mindanao Command chief Lt. Gen. Raymundo Ferrer, told reporters that the AFP will recommend to President Aquino the lifting of state of emergency since normalcy has been restored in the province.

Ferrer was the administrator of the week-long Martial Law declared after the SOE was imposed.

SOE was declared by then President Arroyo in Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat and Cotabato City four days after gunmen, allegedly led by Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr. of Datu Unsay, massacre 57 people, 30 of who were journalists.

David who visited Davao City with Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, said its up to President Aquino when to implement the AFP's recommendation.

David said while the AFP wants the SOE lifted, the Army troops currently deployed in the province will remain and security activities such as checkpoints, patrol and necessary Army operations will continue.

The curfew, David said, will also be lifted once SOE is gone.

The military's 6th Infantry Division will continue to assist police-led operations in hunting down other suspects in the massacre who remained at large.

Lt. Col. Benjamin Hao, 6th Infantry Division spokesperson, said the military's 104th Infantry Brigade and some units under the 601st Infantry Brigade based in Tacurong City, will continue to assist the Maguindanao police office because part of Maguindanao is also under the area of jurisdiction of 601st brigade. (PNA)

FFC/NYP/EOF

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