Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Monday said he is not inclined to recommend another extension of martial law in Mindanao once the third extension ends on December 31.
“We are waiting for the recommendation of the Armed Forces at saka yung (and of the) PNP (Philippine National Police), depende sa kanilang (it will depend on their) recommendation but kung ako lang (as for me), I will not recommend anymore the extension,” he said in an interview Monday.
When asked for his reasons, the DND chief said a stronger Human Security Act is a more viable approach.
“Matagal nang masyado eh (It is already too long). (So that) we can do our job, kaya nga (that is why) especially if the Senate or the Congress can pass the Human Security Act na nabigyan ng konting ngipin yung ating (which will give more teeth to our) law enforcement, then that’s a better arrangement than martial law,” Lorenzana added.
However, the DND chief said he will act accordingly in case the AFP and PNP decide to recommend another extension.
“We’ll see, we’ll evaluate the reasons of the military and the police and act accordingly,” Lorenzana added.
The House of Representatives, voting 235-28-1 in a joint session on Dec. 12, 2018, approved the extension of martial law in Mindanao for the third time until Dec. 31, 2019.
The AFP recommended another year-long extension of martial law in Mindanao in its bid to neutralize terror groups still operating in the southern Philippines.
Lawmakers, in a special joint session in July 2017, granted the extension of martial law until Dec. 31, 2017, at the President’s request.
In December 2017, the Senate and House of Representatives, convening in a joint session, granted President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s second request for the extension of martial law and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus for a period of one year from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2018.
Martial law in Mindanao was declared on May 23, 2017 following attacks launched by the Maute Group in Marawi City.
Former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Governor Datu Zaldy Uy Ampatuan will remain in jail as the Supreme Court (SC) turned down his petition for bail on murder charges, in connection with the Maguindanao massacre.
In a six-page notice made available to newsmen Wednesday, the SC’s First Division through Division Clerk of Court Librada C. Buena said the court on July 22 resolved to deny Ampatuan’s petition “for lack of merit”.
The decision affirmed the April 2018 ruling of the Court of Appeals (CA), which refused to grant bail to the petitioner.
The court explained that ruling on whether Ampatuan, who is among those charged with 58 counts of murder for the Maguindanao massacre, is entitled to bail could inadvertently result in deciding the main case itself, which is now submitted for resolution before the lower court.
“In determining the veracity of the evidence petitioner presented in support of his denial and alibi and to rebut the evidence of the prosecution, the Court will necessarily have to rule on the admissibility and probative value of these (pieces of) evidence. By deciding for or against his bail application on the basis of factual issues raised by petitioner, the court will be prematurely deciding the case beyond the parameters of judicial review at this stage of the proceedings, and preempt the parties from presenting their respective evidence during trial,” the court said.
“This court is of the view that these issues are best threshed out in a full-blown trial. The court must defer making a conclusion on this matter since the participation of conspirators, principals, accomplices and accessories are matter adjudged as a whole at the conclusion of the evidence-in-chief,” the tribunal pointed out.
Henchmen of the Ampatuan clan allegedly ambushed the convoy of their political rivals, the Mangudadatus, killing the victims who included 32 local newsmen and supporters and relatives of the Mangundadatu clan.
The event is the single most deadly event involving journalists in the country.
Among the witnesses were Esmael “Toto” Mangundadatu, Maganoy, Maguindanao vice mayor Sukarno Badal, and Lakmodin Saliao, the alleged personal assistant of Datu Andal Ampatuan Sr.
The witnesses said the petitioner gave his blessings to the ambush by phone while he was in Manila attending official events and volunteered the use of his cache of firearms and ordered the ambush group to leave no traces after the attack. (PNA)
President Rodrigo Duterte has signed the law creating the Davao International Airport Authority (DIAA) to manage the Francisco Bangoy International Airport and other airports in the Davao region.
Malacañang on Tuesday released to the media Republic Act No. 11457 or the Charter of the Davao International Airport Authority which Duterte signed on Aug. 30, 2019.
Under the law, the DIAA will be an attached agency of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and will be located at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao City.
“The Authority shall principally undertake the economical, efficient and effective control, management and supervision of the Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao City, the existing airports in the Davao Region and such other airports as may thereafter be established in any of the provinces of the same region,” the law read.
The DIAA should also have the following objectives: Encourage, promote, and develop international and domestic air traffic in Davao Region; and upgrade the services and facilities of Francisco Bangoy International Airport at the same time, formulate internationally acceptable standards of airport accommodation and service.
Among its duties and functions include formulating a comprehensive and integrated development policy and program for the Francisco Bangoy International Airport; controlling, supervising, constructing, maintaining, operating, and providing such facilities or services necessary for the airport to function; promulgating rules and regulations governing the planning, development, maintenance, operation and improvement of the Francisco Bangoy International Airport.
The DIAA will also have the power to exercise policy authority in connection with the maintenance of security to passengers, cargoes, aircraft, airport equipment, structures, facilities, personnel, funds and documents; regulation of the entry to, exits from and movement within the airports; maintenance of peace and order within the premises of the Francisco Bangoy International Airport, among others.
The law also requires “all existing public airport facilities, runways, lands, buildings, and other properties, movable or immovable, belonging to or presently administered by the Francisco Bangoy International Airport, and all assets, powers, rights, interests, and privileges relating to airport works or air operations, including all equipment which are necessary for the operation of air navigation, aerodrome control towers, crash, fire, and rescue facilities are hereby transferred to the authority.”
The new airport authority will also administer ongoing projects relating to the construction of Francisco Bangoy International Airport facilities and supply of equipment.
Meanwhile, a Board of Directors will exercise corporate powers over the authority composed of a chairman, vice-chairman, and 13 members.
It designates the Transport Secretary and DIAA general manager as ex-officio chairman and vice chairman, respectively.
The general manager of the Franciso Bangoy International Airport will continue in office until such time a DIAA general manager is appointed. (PNA)
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