THE extension of Martial Law in Mindanao aims to prevent the resurgence of the Maute group in Marawi, a member of the Marawi Crisis Management Committee said yesterday.
Assemblyman Zia Alonto Adiong (Lanao del Sur) believes that Martial Law in Mindanao can help in gradually ending terrorism. Congress recently extended this until the end of 2018.
“The fight in Marawi may have ended, but the long battle against violent extremism continues. So it doesn’t mean that since the fighting is over, the situation in the city has stabilized,” Adiong told reporters.
Adiong was in Cebu for a dialogue with internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Marawi who have relocated to Cebu to avoid the fighting.
Adiong said that even with the end of the Marawi Crisis last month, they have heard reports that remnants of the Maute group were starting to recruit more fighters to their cause.
They are not discounting the possibility that survivors of the Maute group are recruiting IDPs who were disenchanted with the government’s action in Marawi.
Adiong assured that the Martial Law being implemented in Mindanao is not the same as the one implemented during the time of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines-Central Command (AFP-Centcom) heightened their monitoring after reports of massive ISIS recruitment reached them. Col. Medel Aguilar, Centcom spokesperson, said that they are coordinating with leaders of different sectors to watch out.
“We are coordinating with the leaders of sectors that we believe are the most vulnerable to the recruitment activities of what we call violent extremists. We convey the message of peace and unity among all Filipinos to effectively counter violent extremism,” he said. (JKV, JOB)
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on December 18, 2017.
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