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Eastmincom requests advisory group to monitor ML implementation
THE EASTERN Mindanao Command has asked the multi-sectoral advisory group (MSAG), which was organized last Tuesday, to advise the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on the implementation of Martial Law in Mindanao.

The MSAG is composed of business, religious, academe, lawyers and government media representatives. It is expected to look into the proper implementation of Martial Law to prevent human rights abuses and ensure the rule of law.

Speaking in yesterday’s AFP-PNP Press conference held at Royal Mandaya hotel, Brig. Gen. Gilbert Gapay, the spokesperson for Martial law in Eastern Mindanao Command said that AFP chief of staff Gen. Eduardo Ano provided general guidelines in the implementation of Martial law.

These were based on the guidelines released last week by the Department of National Defense.

The memos to the AFP require the military units to implement martial law but with human rights and the rule of law in mind, despite terrorism as the primary target.

“We will be putting up martial law coordination centers up to the Brigade level of our command,” Gapay said.

Since the declaration, a series of meetings have been conducted to discuss the legalities and mechanism and dos and don’ts on the conduct of security operations.

Lt. Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero, commander of the EastMinCom is the implementer of the Martial law in entire area.

He will be assisted by the deputy implementer and martial law coordinating center where all the agencies and members of security sectors can coordinate.

It will be assisted by the Directorate for Police Integrate Operations (DIPO) Eastern Mindanao, as they are mandated to support the AFP in the implementation of the Martial law.

Members of the MSAG are: Sebastian Angliongto, Chairman/Business Sector;  and members Prof. Antonio Obsioma, Academe; Ms. Susan Palad, Religious; Mr. Antonio dela Cruz, Business; Mr. Jerry Francisco; Most Rev. Fernando R. Capalla, Religious Sector (Catholic); Prof. Hadji Balajadia, Academe; Datu Mussolini Sinsuat Lidasan, Religious (Islam)/Academe; Atty. Romeo T. Cabarde, Jr., Legal;  Ms. Akhzanuniza M. Alonto, MinDA; Dir. Efren Elbanbuena, Media (PIA XI); Atty. Rogelio Largo, Legal (IBP-Davao); and Atty. Mary Ann M. Arnado, Legal/NGO.

The meeting was also attended by officers of Eastern Mindanao Command.

The purpose of MSAG for MIL is to advice, comment, and provide recommendations and inputs to ensure accountability and transparency over the implementation of Martial Law adherent to the Rule of Law and Human Rights.

Its core group is the multi-sector governance council in Eastern Mindanao.

He said during the meeting on Tuesday the deliberations centered on the legal aspects of the implementation and the basic provisions of the law that are already integrated on the guidelines they initially handed down to the units.

Their partners on the legal sector will also be forming Quick Response Teams, who will assist the military in the Martial law function.

“So if there are any incidents or complaints they will be the one who will react and go to the incident area and provide advice to see what actions need to be done, “he said.

The QRTs will be formed in the Municipal and Provincial level over Eastern Mindanao area.

During the meeting, the Church sectors also emphasized the role of interfaith groups and how they can engage with the military in the prosecution to give premium on cultural sensitivities and some issues pertaining to faith.

“Alam nyo naman extremism yung sa Maute group that disgraced the Islam religion that is why interfaith groups are important,” he added.

“The difference between now and Martial Law in 1972 is that not everybody will be Martial law functions,” he said.

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