The decision to declare a state of emergency or martial law is primarily a political decision and does not rest on the military.
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla issued this statement when queried about President Rodrigo Duterte’s earlier announcement that he is mulling at the possibility of declaring martial law in some parts of Mindanao in wake of the threats being posed by lawless elements and terror groups known to be operating in the region.
These groups often conduct kidnap-for-ransom activities and other criminal acts to fund their illegal activities and proving detrimental to development of Mindanao and its people.
“The decision to implement a state of emergency or martial law does not lie with the AFP. It lies with the political leadership and depends (on the prevailing security situation),” Padilla said in Filipino.
However, the Chief Executive is not keen to implement this most extreme measure and is urging the local government units in Mindanao to help the police and soldiery in curbing these threats and allow genuine peace and progress to come into the area.