Editorial: Martial law extension?

Editorial: Martial law extension?

ON DECEMBER 10, 2019, Malacañan announced there will be no extension of martial law in Mindanao and will only last until the end of the year.

In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the president made the decision to lift martial law in Mindanao “following the assessment of security and defense advisers of the weakening of the terrorist and extremist rebellion.”

It can be recalled that Mindanao was first put under martial law on May 23, 2017 after an armed conflict between the government forces and the Maute terrorist group erupted in Marawi City. Since then, extensions had been made.

Many sectors rejoiced over this decision of the president including the tourism and the business sectors explaining that even when the martial law’s intention is to secure the Mindanawons, investors and tourists can’t help but think twice of going to Mindanao because of martial law.

This lifting may be beneficial to the economy and the tourism sectors of the island region, as said by various businesses and government heads.

However, last Sunday, December 22, an explosion rocked Cotabato City that got Mindanawons thinking whether martial law will still be lifted or not.

Earlier reports said 16 people were wounded after a grenade thrown by a riding-in-tandem exploded near the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Cotabato City at 6 p.m. Following this, the city was immediately put on lockdown.

The frightening Sunday doesn’t end there, however. A few minutes after that, IED blasts were also heard in Libungan, North Cotabato where about five were injured. About two hours after, there was another explosion in Upi, Maguindanao leaving two people injured, reports said. All of these happened in one night. No one has yet to claim or had been pinpointed to be behind these dastardly acts.

With these bloody events happening before the lifting of martial law, it’s not wrong to think about an extension. Some may even think that it was deliberately done so people would desperately ask for an extension. We never know but what matters now on top of anything else is the security that everyone deserves amid our celebration of Christmas and the New Year.

Even Cotabato City Mayor Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi wanted martial law to be extended after what happened.

With or without martial law extension, everyone deserves to have a peaceful holiday celebration with families and loved ones away from terrorist threats and attacks.

Let’s wait and see if the President will lift or extend martial after the Cotabato blasts.


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