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No changes in security plan despite Martial Law lifting

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Monday evening said that security measures in Mindanao will be maintained following Malacanang’s announcement that Martial Law would not be extended next year.

In a text message on Monday evening, AFP Chief of Staff Noel Clement, said with they are already prepared for the possible lifting of Martial Law. Based on their assessment, while the threat remains, it is “manageable.”

When asked if they will change their security plan, he said they will continue their course.

“All (security) measures will be maintained and no additional troops (will be deployed),” Clement said.

In a separate interview, Secretary of Interior and Local Government Eduardo Año said, “the situation in Mindanao has improved significantly with the reduction of crime volume by 20% and the neutralization of numerous ISIS-Maute-ASG personalities.”

“The maintenance of peace and order can be handled by normal operations of the AFP and the PNP while the LGUs are unhampered in delivering services to the people,” Año said.

Speaking in yesterday’s AFP-PNP press conference held at The Royal Mandaya Hotel, Capt. Jerry Lamosao, spokesperson of the 10th Infantry Division, said they will continue to maintain the highest security level for Davao City.

“Rest assured that our AFP-PNP, by next month the Martial Law ends, will still be able to perform,” he said. “People can still expect security checkpoints and more (security) mechanisms.”

On Monday afternoon, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said President Rodrigo Roa Duterte will not extend martial law in Mindanao upon its expiration on Dec. 31, 2019.

The Commander-in-Chief made the decision following the assessment of his security and defense advisers of the weakening of the terrorist and extremist rebellion, a result of the capture or neutralization of their leaders, as well as the decrease in the crime index.

Panelo said the Palace is confident in the capability of the security forces to maintain peace and security in Mindanao without extending Martial Law.

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