By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
3rd Infantry Division (3ID) commander Major Geneneral Jon Aying said there is a possibility that President Rodrigo R. Duterte might declare martial law in the Visayas islands to counter the threat of various terror groups operating in Mindanao.
In a report by TV Patrol Negros, Aying explained the possibility was based on Duterte’s decision as the terror groups like the Maute group could travel to the Visayas in order to spread their terror activities in the region.
He said he will support the declaration of martial law in the Visayas. The ranking officer also said the President “only wants to protect civilian lives.”
In order to ensure the safety of the Visayas including, especially in the Negros Island Region (NIR), Aying said he has already ordered additional army units to prevent the entry of the terrorist groups.
“I’ve ordered some of the units in Panay Island to deploy here in the NIR in order to make the region more resilient against any threats,” Aying said.
Aying, meanwhile, stated he also supports to limit the information given to members of the media in Mindanao in the context of national security.
He added the Armed Forces will fully respect human rights and international humanitarian law as he issued an appeal to media to “put more trust and confidence” in law enforcement agencies who are trying their best to quell the terror groups.
Earlier last week, members of the Maute group attacked and took over several areas in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur. Duterte later declared martial law over the entire island of Mindanao as a measure to stop the terror group and restore order in the region./WDJ