AFTER nearly three years of military rule in Mindanao, President Rodrigo Duterte has decided not to extend martial law in the island which is set to expire on December 31, Malacañang announced on Tuesday, December 10.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo 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.
Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno has welcomed Duterte’s decision not to extend martial rule, saying it reflects the administration’s confidence in the military’s preparedness.
“I have always maintained that the declaration of martial law was meant as a preemptive move on the part of the Government. It was meant to clearly convey the signal to those who would resort to extremism that the Government would not hesitate to immediately use the military to suppress their extremist agenda,” Moreno said, who also chairs the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC).
The city’s top official added that as far as insurgency is concerned, the administration’s whole-of-nation approach under EO70 is well in place and is achieving substantial gains in addressing the root causes of the insurgency.
Cagayan de Oro 2nd District Representative Rufus Rodriguez said non extension of martial law will give normalcy and stability in Mindanao.
Rodriguez said martial law discourages investments by both foreign and domestic investors in Mindanao, prevents more employment and stunts the economic growth of the island.
The Kagay-anon lawmaker said the courts are open and functioning if law enforcers need warrants of arrest and search warrants against those involved in terrorism and rebellion.
“We thank President Duterte for this wise decision,” Rodriguez said.
For his part, Misamis Oriental Governor Yevgeny Vincente Bambi Emano said he respects the wisdom of the president.
Meanwhile, Police Regional Office-Northern Mindanao spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Mardy Hortillosa said the police also welcome Duterte’s decision.
“Generally uyon kita sa pagwala sa martial law of course, nakita na siguro nila ang assessment nila nga maayo ang dagan nato,” he added.
Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao in 2017 after the fighting between government troops and Maute-Isis group erupted in Marawi City which lasted for five months.