Army chief mulls martial law for Sulu following attacks

Army chief mulls martial law for Sulu following attacks

Philippine Army (PA) commander, Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana. (Philippine Army photo)

MANILA – Philippine Army (PA) commander, Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, is contemplating to recommend that Sulu be placed under Martial Law following the twin bombings that killed 14 people and wounded 72 others in Jolo town on Monday.

He said the situation calls for the measure as the twin explosions caused a lot of casualties among security forces and civilians alike.

“I think it is wise (for the government to) declare (Martial Law) again,” he added in Filipino during an interview with reporters Tuesday.

When asked for the specific purpose of declaring Martial Law again in Sulu, Sobejana said this is to bring “normalcy” and control the movement of the terrorists.

“It has to be controlled, otherwise it (attacks) will be (a) repetitive thing, victimizing locals,” Sobejana said.

When asked how long this will last, the Army chief said it would depend on the situation on the ground.

“The situation dictates (on how long the period) of Martial Law enforcement or implementation,” he said.

Sobejana, meanwhile, clarified that his recommendation for Sulu to be placed under Martial Law still has to pass through the military’s chain-of-command and forwarded to President Rodrigo Duterte and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.

“If I may recommend to the President through the chain-of-command of course, I have to pass my recommendation through (the) Chief-of-Staff and Secretary of National Defense,” he added.

Sobejana said he has yet to make a formal recommendation as he is still in Mindanao and will immediately consult his staff once he arrives in Manila.

In an earlier interview with DWIZ, Sobejana said that the two female suicide bombers responsible for Monday’s attack were probably motivated by Abu Sayyaf leader Mundi Sawadjaan to do their grisly work.

Another motive is that these female bombers could be widows of terrorists who were earlier killed or neutralized by government forces. (PNA)

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