THE military on Wednesday allayed fears of abuses during implementation of the “State of National Emergency on Account of Lawless Violence” even as soldiers were instructed to undergo Troops Information and Education (TIE) to ensure citizen’s entitlements under the Bill of Rights of the Constitution.
“We would like to ensure that as we respond to the [Commander-in-Chief’s] call for the AFP [Armed Forces of the Philippines] to help suppress lawless violence in Mindanao and prevent its spread to other areas of the country, the execution of our tasks will always be proper and with due regard to every citizen’s entitlements under the Bill of Rights,” said the AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Ricardo Visaya.
He issued the statement after he directed the conduct of the TIE among soldiers and commanders in the field particularly those assigned to the Western Mindanao Command, Eastern Mindanao Command and the Joint Task Force National Capital Region “through the most expedient means.”
Lectures under the Troops Information and Education, according to Visaya, will cover what the proclamation of the state of national emergency entails and how this translates to the AFP.
He said the lectures will also lay down guidelines on how to perform specific tasks related to the proclamation.
These tasks include, but are not limited to, conduct of checkpoints, foot or mobile patrols and enforcement of curfews whenever and wherever necessary in tandem with the Philippine National Police (PNP).
“By this conduct of the TIE, we would like to ensure proper information and knowledge management among our officers and men on the ground,” Visaya pointed out.
At the same time, the AFP chief asked for the public’s cooperation in the government’s effort to suppress lawless violence and prevent the spread of similar violent incidents to other parts of the country.
Before leaving for Laos for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Proclamation 55 declaring a “State of National Emergency on Account of Lawless Violence in Mindanao.”
The proclamation noted that “in recent months, there has been a spate of violent and lawless acts across many parts of Mindanao, including abductions, hostage-takings and murders of innocent civilians, bombings of power transmission facilities, robberies and extortions, attacks on military outposts, assassinations of media people and mass jailbreaks.”