Group wants martial law lifted in Mindanao

(Photo by Macky Lim)

WHILE they support the Davao City Government’s proposal for the lifting of martial law in the city, a militant group wants to have it entirely lifted in Mindanao.

Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) Southern Mindanao spokesperson Carlo Olalo told SunStar Davao said the city government has “finally realized” that martial law hampers its socio-economic activity.

This was also the sentiment of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, who initially discussed the proposal to lift martial law after having dialogues with different foreign investors during a business gathering in the city.

The Davao City Council had also passed a resolution for its lifting, after various consultations from security and private sectors.

“Two years after na-implement ang martial law, wala gihapon niya na-address ang root cause sa security issue sa isla (Two years after martial law was implemented it failed to address the root cause of security issues here in Mindanao),” Olalo said in a phone call interview.

He also claimed different human rights abuses following the declaration of martial law.

Olalo said KMU Southern Mindanao, as of July this year, reported 96 extrajudicial killings in the region, 60 are farmers.

“Gigamit ang martial law to suppress workers. Gihimo nila ang martial law (nga oportunidad) aron pandakpon ang mga workers na mag-rally (They are taking advantage of martial law to suppress workers. They use it as an opportunity to arrest workers who are rallying),” he said.

Professor Ramon Beleno III of the Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU), meanwhile, said including Davao City in the martial law implementation was not necessary, in the first place, because of the functioning political and security system in the city.

Although he said, Davao City had benefited from the tight security imposed by martial law, he said it created a stigma for tourists and investors.

“Kahit sabihin natin na Davao is secured, pero andiyan pa rin ang thinking ng mga tao that there is a problem in Davao and Mindanao. May takot pa rin sila kung bakit nila sinali ang Davao sa martial law (Even if they would say Davao is secured, people would still think that there is a problem in Davao and Mindanao. People would still fear visiting Davao City due to martial law),” Beleno said in a phone call interview.

He also said other areas, wherein lawlessness and terrorism is not alarming, should also be lifted from the implementation.

“Dapat mag-focus na lang ang government and the security forces doon sa mga areas na grabe ang problema sa security, like in Marawi and some parts of Barmm (Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao) (The government and security forces should focus its attention in security-conflicted areas, like in Marawi and Barmm),” Beleno said.

Former presidential aide and Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go said on Saturday during his visit here in the city that President Rodrigo Duterte has not yet made a decision on the request of his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, to lift martial law in the city. (RGL)


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