Aquino: Lifting state of emergency under evaluation

07/12/2010 - MANILA, Philippines (Xinhua) - President Benigno Aquino III said today that the lifting of the state of emergency in southern Philippines is now being studied.

Aquino, in an interview in the military headquarters in Quezon City, Metro Manila, said that he was not sure if the state of emergency was automatically lifted when former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo left her office on June 30.

"(It is) being studied by the presidential legal counsel ( Eduardo de Mesa) and the Executive Secretary (Paquito Ochoa) and whether the status has been lifted or not," he said.

"We didn't agree with its imposition to begin with so that's the output I'm waiting for," Aquino added.

Arroyo declared a state of emergency in the provinces of Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat and Cotabato City. The former president imposed the martial rule after the gruesome killing of 57 people, including 30 journalists, in Maguindanao allegedly masterminded by some members of the powerful Ampatuan clan in November last year. (

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