MANILA, Philippines – Many residents in Mindanao have been wishing for the extension of martial law in the region.
However, on Tuesday (December 31), the implementation of Martial Law in Mindanao will be lifted after being extended thrice since it was declared by President Rodrigo Duterte in 2017 after the terrorist group Maute-ISIS took over the city of Marawi.
According to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, the President’s decision to lift martial law is already final.
“President Rodrigo Duterte is not extending martial law,” Panelo announced, “It will expire on December 31, 2019.”
Even Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana recommended its termination.
“The whole of Mindanao, no selective martial law, because I was assured by our Armed Forces and the PNP that we have already accomplished what we aim to do with martial law,” Lorenzana explained.
Meanwhile, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Spokesperson BGen. Edgard Arevalo noted several grounds for the termination of martial law in Mindanao.
Arevalo said the AFP and the Philippine National Police attested that the situation in the region has become stable since the incidence of terrorism and rebellion has dwindled.
“Mayroon na pong pronouncement ang Malacañang na hindi na i-e-extend ang martial law beyond December 31,” Arevalo confirmed.
Still, some residents wish martial law to remain in their region as it helped a lot in disciplining the public — especially the youth— and deterring violence, especially during the wee hours.
“Okay ang pamamalakad dito. Naayos ang kalagayan ng mga tao,” noted a resident Roxanne Armada.
“Hindi na sila nagtatagal para tumambay lalo na ang mga kabataan hindi sila nagtatagal umuwi sa bahay,” she added.
“Pabor ako sa martial law dito sa Mindanao kasi nabawasan ang krimen,” observed another resident Jayson Jacinto.
They fear that with the lifting of martial law, lawless elements might take advantage of the situation and sow violence again as they have done in the past. – MNP (with reports from Dante Amento)
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