65% of Filipinos say martial law in Mindanao should be lifted by end of 2019

Robie de Guzman

MANILA, Philippines – The majority of Filipinos believe that martial law in Mindanao should be lifted by the end of the year, based on the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey.

In the survey released on Sunday (December 29), the SWS found that 65 percent of Filipinos said that the martial law in the Mindanao region should not go beyond 2019 while 34 percent said it should be extended.

One percent did not provide an answer to the question, “In your opinion, should martial law in Mindanao lapse at end-2019, or be extended for a longer period?”

The SWS said the nationwide survey was conducted from December 13 to 16 by interviewing 1,200 Filipino adult respondents – 300 each in Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

The pollster said that of the 34 percent who support the extension of martial law beyond 2019, 22 percent said it should be extended in the entire Mindanao, 7 percent said it should be extended in Marawi City and the province of Lanao del Sur, and 5 percent say it should be extended in Marawi City, the province of Lanao del Sur, and nearby provinces.

The proportion of those who call for the termination of Martial Law in Mindanao by end-2019 is high in all areas: it is 67% in Metro Manila, 67% in the Visayas, 66% in Balance Luzon, and 61% in Mindanao, the SWS added.

In the December 2019 survey, respondents were also asked about their opinion regarding the statement, “At present, there is no more threat that another Marawi-like terrorist attack can happen anywhere in Mindanao.”

To this, 49 percent agreed, and 16 percent disagreed while 35 percent were undecided about the matter.

The SWS said this gives a net agreement score of +33, classified as very strong.

The SWS terminology for Net Agreement: +50 and above, “Extremely Strong”; +30 to +49, “Very Strong”; +10 to +29, “Moderately Strong”, +9 to -9, “Neutral”; -10 to -29, “Moderately Weak”; -30 to -49, “Very Weak”; -50 and below, “Extremely Weak”.

Survey respondents were also asked about their opinion on this statement, “From the time that Martial Law was declared in Mindanao, up to the present, the military has committed very few, if any, abuses of human rights in Mindanao?”

Fifty-five percent agreed, 14 percent disagreed while 32 percent were undecided.

This gives a very strong net agreement score of +41, the SWS said.

Mindanao has been under martial law since 2017 after the Maute Terror group attacked Marawi City.

The martial law was initially set for 60 days, but it was extended until the end of 2017, then until the end of 2018, and until December 31 of 2019.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier decided he will not be extending martial law in Mindanao following the recommendation and assessment of his security and defense advisers on the situation in the region. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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