The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) requests the public to be patient in the measures of the Martial Law implemented for the security of Mindanao region following the Marawi incident.
AFP Spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla encourages the public to be vigilant and to report the men in uniform if they are caught abusing their power and the AFP vows to provide a swift probe and action to ensure the accountability of the officials.
As the basis for the declaration was to establish law and order and the rule of law, all violators regardless of group affiliations will be dealt with accordingly.
Other possible measures to be included in the law are the establishment of checkpoints in all areas and the possible declaration of curfew hours in certain parts of Mindanao.
Padilla also states that they have not recommended a suspension of the freedom of expression, however, will exercise the right to censure based on the following:
– To ensure the safety of lives
– To ensure operational security and the safety of our own men in uniform who are fighting and for other national security considerations.
When asked, Padilla said the censorship “will cover social media.”
“…because of the things we have been seeing in the operational environment. You yourself have seen that tremendous disinformation clouds or creates a thick fog of war that does not provide a better operational picture of the battlefield, and this is one that creates a lot of collateral damage which we want to avoid,” he explained.
The specific censorship guidelines have yet to be released, however. Padilla said separate sets of guidelines will be released for the general public and the media.