Editorial: Lifting martial law

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao on May 23, 2017. This developed after government forces and members of Maute Terror Group clashed in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur.

Since then, martial law on the island has been extended three times -- July 23, 2017, when it was extended to December 2017; December 13, 2017, when it was extended for a year; and December 12, 2018, when it was extended until December 2019.

While Mindanao may somehow benefit from the martial law implementation in the last two years, local leaders in Davao City are now looking into requesting the uplifting of martial law in the city.

During the 5th Davao Investment Conference (Icon) on June 20, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte Carpio said she will be requesting the President to reconsider the implementation of martial law in Mindanao.

“Earlier, I had a productive chat with the honorable ambassadors and we discussed the situation of martial law in Mindanao and Davao City and will come up with request for the Office of the President to reconsider and review the declaration of martial law in Mindanao and make it localized, depending on the area,” Duterte-Carpio said in her keynote speech.

She said then that she will be requesting the city council to come up with a resolution requesting the president to lift martial law in the city.

On August 6, 2017, the 19th Davao City Council has approved a resolution for the lifting of the martial law implementation in Davao City. The resolution was filed by the committee on peace and public safety chair Councilor Mabel Acosta.

In our news report Tuesday, Acosta said the city may have gained “economic progress” two years since the city was included in the jurisdiction of the martial law implementation but it has also affected the city’s engagement in business, trade, and investment.

The city will forward the resolution to the Office of the President.

The business community, in particular, has been supportive of the efforts to lift martial law in Davao City. They pointed out how it will improve the business climate in the city. Lifting martial law may also remove hesitations from other investors.

Also, despite the recent crime incidents in Davao City, the city remains generally peaceful as compared to other places in Mindanao.

Maybe it is time for the national government to take a look again at Mindanao. There may be some areas, like Davao City, where it can lift martial law.

Lifting of martial law may also uplift the image of Mindanao and more may come to visit the island.

Mindanao has been on a path of progress in recent years. The implementation of martial law may have affected its growth positively in two years but with its lifting, Mindanao may experience much faster growth.


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