President Rodrigo Duterte will study the Philippine Army’s recommendation to declare martial law in Sulu province following the twin blasts in Jolo that killed 15 people on Monday.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque told CNN-Philippines that Duterte “listens” to the people on the ground.
“The President, of course, will consider this recommendation as will both Congress and the Supreme Court. Although a recommendation has been made, the President has to be very careful that it would pass the scrutiny of both the legislative and judicial branches of government,” Roque said.
“The recommendations have been made, and the President listens to those on the ground.”
Roque said the President recently had a command conference with the police and military regarding the Jolo blasts.
Roque said “probably he has given the necessary orders to the top brass of the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) and PNP (Philippine National Police) and you don’t discuss what you intend to do as far as situation on the ground is publicly,” when asked why Duterte did not make comments on the bombing on his televised address on Tuesday.
Duterte to consider declaring martial law in Sulu
According to Roque, it might be “very difficult” for now to schedule a presidential visit to Jolo.
“Under the circumstance, let’s just say that it’s very difficult not only because of the pandemic but also because of the situation on the ground in Jolo,” he said.
Philippine Army chief Lieutenant General Cirilito Sobejana appealed Tuesday to enforce martial law in Sulu province following the twin explosions.
“So siguro it’s high time na ibalik po natin, if I may respectfully recommend to our President, through our chief of staff and Secretary of National Defense, na kung maibalik o maideklara muli na martial law doon sa lugar dahil sa ito, doon sa probinsiya ng Sulu dahil sa recent bombing incident na nangyari,” Sobejana said.