DAVAO

Goodbye martial law

FOLLOWING the announcement of Malacañang that martial law will no longer be extended, local authorities will beef up its security measures with additional personnel in the three border control of the city.

In an interview Tuesday, December 10, with Davao City Police Office (DCPO) Director Colonel Kirby John Kraft, he assured that the police forces of DCPO are on guard to ensure the public safety and security despite the lifting of martial law.

The city’s top cop added that he will deploy more personnel at the checkpoints in Lasang, Toril, and Calinan.

It can be recalled that in August this year, Davao City passed a resolution for the exemption of the city from martial law because it has affected the city’s business and investment climate.

“As city director, I am supporting the stand of the City Government for exemption from the martial law,” Kraft said.

Even before the announcement, Kraft said they already anticipated that anytime soon, martial law will be lifted. In preparation, they have crafted security measures together with their counterparts in the Task Force Daavao.

“We have already in place security protocols. Even after kung mawala man ang martial law, we will still implement yong mas strengthen pa ‘yong existing security measures lalong lalo na sa border control at ‘yong mga tourist destination gaya ng Roxas Night Market,” he said.

DCPO had also sought the help of the city council recommending the continuous "gun ban" in the city. The gun ban for 2020 was approved on December 3.

They are now just waiting for the response coming from the Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters. The PNP chief has the power to suspend permit to carry firearms but at present, the position is still vacant.

Task Force Davao (TFD), on the other hand, has been advocating for the culture of security and emphasized that ensuring the city's security is a shared responsibility.

For his part, Colonel Nolasco Mempin, commander of 1003rd Infantry Brigade welcomed the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte.

"We as member of the AFP, support the decision of the President on the non-extension of martial law in Mindanao. I do believe that with the current peace and security situation particularly in the Davao region, the security sectors can handle it without martial law. Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio has even requested earlier that Davao City be exempted from Martial Law," Mempin said.

No longer extended

Malacañang announced on Tuesday, December 10, that Duterte will no longer extend martial law in Mindanao.

Martial law will expire on December 31, 2019, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a press briefing Tuesday.

He said the President's decision is based on the unanimous assessment of the security forces and defense advisers that the terrorists and extremist rebellion have been weakened as a result of the capture or neutralization of their leaders.

Panelo also said there has been a decrease in the crime index.

"The people of Mindanao are assured that any incipient major threat in Mindanao will be nipped in the bud even without martial law," he said.

Panelo said he was not in the command conference held Monday, December 9, but he received a text message to announce this decision.

"Contrary to the suppositions of the vocal minority on the proclamation of martial law in Mindanao, this decision of the President shows how he responds to the situation on the ground," Panelo said in a statement after the briefing.

Mindanao was placed under martial law on May 23, 2017, several hours after an armed conflict erupted between government forces and the Maute terrorists in Marawi City in Lanao del Sur.

In July, before the 60-day martial law could expire, Congress extended it until the end of 2017.

In December 2018, martial law was extended for the third time until December 31, 2019.

Better business climate

The Mindanao economy is seen to further flourish with the end of Martial Law.

Davao City Tourism Operations Office (DCTOO) chief Generose Tecson said ending Martial Law would invite more foreign tourists in Davao City because it would be easy for them to secure travel insurance.

“[It is] very welcome news for all of us especially in the tourism industry. International tourists can now consider visiting Davao and not worry about being able to get travel insurance,” she said in a text message.

She said some travelers prefer to have travel insurance but they cannot get it when coming to the city because of Martial Law.

Prior to the announcement, Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industries

Inc. (DCCCII) executive vice-president John Carlo B. Tria said the impact of martial law varies from one industry to another.

“Ang uban sector, nagalambo ilang negosyo because of the safety pero ang uban naga-express pud nga kung ma-lift siya particularly tourism (Some sectors prospered because of the safety while others, particularly tourism, hoped that Martial Law will be lifted),” he said at the sidelines of the Kapehan press conference on Monday, December 9.

He cited the agriculture sector as one of the industries benefitting from heightened security.

Meanwhile, Mindanao Development Authority (Minda) chair Emmanuel Emmanuel F. Pinol said the decision of Duterte not to extend Martial Law in Mindanao would accelerate economic and trade activities all over in the region.

“This is proof that the government continues to provide services and responses that bring confidence to investors and tourists, inasmuch to every Mindanawon an environment of peace and prosperity,” he said in a statement.

He said Minda supports the decision of the president as it restores the atmosphere of peace and stability of the region. (With SunStar Philippines)


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