Defense chief recommends lifting of martial law in Mindanao

Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo

DEFENSE Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on Wednesday, December 4, that he has recommended to President Rodrigo Duterte the lifting of martial law in the entire Mindanao.

“I just sent my recommendation today to the President recommending the non-extension of martial law in Mindanao because I was assured by our Armed Forces and the police, the PNP, that we have already accomplished what we need to do with martial law and with the situation there now I think we believe that we can maintain the peace and order and improve it further,” he said in an interview with reporters.

“So that's it. There will be no more martial law there and I believe there is so much concern from other countries because (of) the term martial law. Even if our martial law in Mindanao was so mild, in fact some people there are seeing, parang walang martial law,” he added.

The entire Mindanao region was placed by the President under martial law on May 23, 2017, shortly after an armed conflict erupted in Marawi City in Lanao del Sur.

The conflict lasted five months, but the 60-day martial law was extended until the end of 2017. Martial law was again extended until the end of 2018 and further to end-2019 to allow government forces to go after terrorist and other armed groups. (SunStar Philippines)