The Daily Manila Shimbun


Gov’t to exercise right to censure amid martial law, military says

May 26, 2017

The Philippine government will exercise its right to censure to ensure national security is not compromised in the wake of martial law proclamation in whole of Mindanao, a military spokesman said on Friday. "The AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) has not recommended the suspension of the freedom of expression but will exercise the right to censure," said Brig. Gen. Restituto Padillla in a press conference in Davao City. He said the censure would be to ensure safety of lives and operational security and safety of the men in uniform who are fighting and for other national security considerations. He said the right to censure would be part of guidelines being crafted to implement martial law. Posts on social media would be covered by the censure. "Yes, it will cover social media. The reason these guidelines have to be set, to be given and censure part is because of the things  that  we have been seeing in the operational environment," Padilla said. "You yourselves have seen that tremendous disinformation clouds or creates a thick fog  that does not allow a better operational picture or 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. Padila asked the public to "trust" the AFP amid concerns of human rights violations which could be committed by the military under martial law. "There are many quarters who have been raising issues already. They are people living in the past. I would like to state under the new basis for which martial law is declared, those of the past are very different from the way it is going to be implemented today," he said. "Our Armed Forces is a new Armed Forces that you should trust. We are the Armed Forces of the people which oath is to protect the state and every citizen of this country," he said. Celerina Monte/DMS