Martial law in Mindanao: Duterte to meet with top cops in Davao
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte will meet with top police officials led by Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa in Davao City on Thursday, May 25.
Duterte, who declared martial law in Mindanao on Tuesday, May 23, will meet with Manila-based police officials and all Mindanao regional directors, according to sources privy to the scheduled meeting.
They are expected to discuss the implementation of martial law in Mindanao.
Flying in from Manila are PNP Deputy Chief of Operations Deputy Director General Ferdinand Mendez, Directorate for Operations chief Director Camilo Cascolan, Directorate for Intelligence chief Director Gregorio Pimentel, and Special Action Force chief Director Benjamin Lusad.
The 6 regional police directions will also be at the meeting.
Duterte, while in Russia for an official visit, placed Mindanao under martial law following clashes between government forces and suspected members of the terrorist Maute Group in Marawi City. At least two policemen and 5 soldiers were in the clashes.
On May 23, Marawi City residents posted photos of armed men littering the city and hoisting ISIS flags. That same night, at least 3 fires broke out in the city.
The alleged Maute Group members also set free prisoners in at least two jails in the city.
The defense department has issued guidelines for the Armed Forces in the implementation of martial law. Written orders from Malacañang were only transmitted to the Senate and the House of Representatives Wednesday evening, May 24, or hours after Duterte arrived from Russia.
Under the Constitution, martial law may only be imposed up to 60 days. If the President wants it extended, Congress – which is dominated by Duterte's allies – needs to approve it. The Supreme Court may also review the basis for the declaration if a case is filed before it. (READ: Martial Law 101: Things you should know)
Duterte cited the Maute Group clash in Marawi and previous encounters in Mindanao as basis for his declaration. (READ: Duterte says martial law due to ISIS threat)
The President is also set to meet have a Cabinet meeting in Davao City at 4 pm on Thursday. – Rappler.com