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No travel ban in declaration

People are still free to move or travel across the country despite the declaration of state of lawlessness in the country, Malacañang assured yesterday.

Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar dispelled speculations about an imminent suspension of civil rights as part of the declaration, saying the democracy remains vibrant in the country.

“Our country is a democracy, we have 104 million people. We are not preventing the public to travel,” Andanar said over government radio.

But the Palace official asked the public to support the government’s campaign against terror and violence by reporting to authorities any suspicious activity in their area. “Just continue with your lives. Do not be afraid but be alert,” Andanar said.

“Let’s help our authorities. If you see anything suspicious activity, please report to your authorities, barangay, police, and military. Let us help each other,” he added.

The President earlier placed the country on security lockdown following the deadly explosion in his hometown Davao City that left 15 people dead. Under the state of lawlessness declared by the President, the Armed Forces of the Philippines would be deployed and assist the police in suppressing the security threats.

Duterte also assured the public that Martial Law had not been imposed but said these are “extraordinary times” that required intensified checkpoints and other searches.

Several lawmakers, however, called on the President to clarify the parameters of the declaration. Some were concerned the declaration would trample on civil rights while others were worried it could sow more fear.

The Palace has yet to release the official proclamation placing the country under a state of lawlessness. Andanar said the draft proclamation has already finalized and will be released Sunday or Monday. (Genalyn D. Kabiling)