State of emergency in Maguindanao stays
MANILA, Philippines - Three years after the Maguindanao massacre that claimed the lives of 58 people, the government said it is not lifting the state of emergency in the province.
In the aftermath of the Nov 23, 2009 massacre, then president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo put Maguindanao under martial law in the first week of December 2009. Mrs Arroyo lifted martial law a few days after but still placed the province under the state of emergency.
Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said local leaders wanted to maintain the state of emergency to ensure peace and order in the province especially in the May 2013 elections.
The Philippine National Police has already identified Maguindanao as one of the 15 provinces in the priority election watchlist.
Lacierda also said they had met with the families of the victims and their commitments were still the same.
“They had concerns, for instance, on safety issues. The President, in that meeting, immediately called up the necessary security officers/officials in Maguindanao. (The late Interior and Local Government) Secretary Jesse Robredo was there at that time. In fact, their commitments are still there. If there are any issues on safety, if there are any issues on security, just call us up and we will provide the necessary assistance,” Lacierda said.
“As to the others, in terms of hastening or expediting the judicial process, we have time and again made our plea to the judiciary to expedite the process without, of course, sacrificing due process,” he added. - Rappler.com