MANILA, Philippines— The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) are pleased with the upcoming ending of Martial Law in Mindanao on December 31.
This, after Malacañang announced on Tuesday (Dec. 10) that President Rodrigo Duterte has decided not to extend Martial Law in Mindanao as terrorism and rebellion have weakened in the region.
The AFP said these had been among the bases of their recommendation not to extend the Martial Law.
The military is also confident that this move will boost the economy in Mindanao.
“We have cited several reasons like improved security climate in Mindanao, the continues decline of the Daesh-inspired local terrorist groups, & to further promote an environment more conducive to economic activities as it did in terms of increase in trade and commerce in Mindanao,” said AFP spokesperson Marine BGen. Edgard Arevalo.
With this, the AFP assures that they will continue to coordinate with communities in Mindanao to ensure lasting peace in the area.
“We will continue to collaborate with local chief executives, and the people in the communities in the conduct of our current activities to sustain these gains brought about by Martial Law,” Arevalo added.
He further said that they are pushing for the amendment of the Human Security Act and the Anti-Terrorism Law that will give strength to their counter-terrorism efforts.
“The AFP will pursue our advocacy towards the amendment of the Human Security Act into an Anti-Terrorism Law that will not be too restrictive to security forces but has more teeth to prevent or counter-terrorism,” said Arevalo.
Meanwhile, the PNP ensures that they will continue their strict monitoring Mindanao and maintain peace and order in the area.
“Well, wala namang magiging pagbabago. Naroon pa rin ang ating mga pwersa at ang buong hanay sa buong Mindanao […] Yung bilang ng ating mga pulis na roon ay sapat para ito, mapanatili natin ang present situation na lalo pang bumubuti,” said PNP spokesperson PBGen. Bernard Banac.
Conversely, Marawi City Mayor Majul Gandamra said that although they would rather have the Martial Law in Mindanao extended, they respect the decision of the president.
He said the city is now improving after being under the martial rule for two years.
With the impending end of Martial Law in Mindanao, the local chief executive stressed that this doesn’t mean that the city will be complacent, rather, they will be more vigilant so that terrorism will not find its way back to the region. —(with details from Harlene Delgado) /mbmf