The Presidential Communications Operations Office on Thursday night released Martial Law’s first general order, which put into effect Proclamation No. 216 or the declaration of martial law in Mindanao.
Signed by President and Commander-in-Chief Rodrigo Roa Duterte on May 30, 2017, the General Order directed the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) “to fully implement martial law in the region within a period not exceeding sixty (60) days unless extended by Congress, as prescribed by the Constitution.”
It likewise suspended the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus for a period not exceeding 60 days.
Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana was designated Administrator of Martial Law in Mindanao, while AFP Chief of Staff Eduardo Año is the Implementor.
Section 3 of the Order stated the scope and authority of the AFP to “undertake all measures to prevent and suppress all acts of rebellion and lawless violence in the whole of Mindanao.”
As stated in Section 4, a state of martial law does not suspend the operation of the Constitution or the function of the civil courts. Also, it stated that any person arrested or detained by virtue of the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus should be released if the person is not charged within three (3) days.
“(T)he constitutional rights of the Filipino people shall be respected and protected at all times,” Section 5 read.
The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) was enjoined to aid the Executive Branch in ensuring the continued protection of the constitutional and human rights of the people.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Education (DepEd), and Department of Health (DOH) were tasked to exert all efforts to ensure the safety and welfare of all displaced persons and families.
All other government agencies were directed to provide full support and cooperation to attain the objectives of the Order.
Meanwhile, media practitioners are especially requested to exercise prudence in the performance of their duties so as not to compromise the security and safety of the AFP in carrying out their duties and functions, added General Order No. 1.