President Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte considers another one-year extension of Martial Law in Mindanao. National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Jr. recommends to extend it for another year last July 23, 2019, due to continues rebellion in the region.
Duterte said to listen to the ‘men on the ground’ who are well-informed about the situation in Mindanao. Esperon insists that Mindanao still needs Martial Law due to continues terrorist bomb attacks that recently reported.
Martial Law in Mindanao
Mindanao is still under Martial Law after President Duterte declared it during the Marawi terrorist attack last May 23, 2017. The military ruling was extended multiple times due to continues rebellion and threats in Mindanao.
Esperon recommends to extend the Martial Law, and this will be the 4th extension if favored. The National Security Adviser claims that this is because of the threat of the New People’s Army and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in the southern region.
“I’ll go for one year because you still have problems there but, you know, let us see how we improve after December,” Esperon said after the State of the Nation Address (SONA).
Lift military ruling from Davao City
Mayor Sara Duterte stated that she wants to lift the Martial Law in Davao City. She claims Davao is in ‘relative stable peace.’
“We have a relatively stable peace.”
Esperon said that it can be considered if it can be done.
“Why not? Kung kaya na (If it can be done). Because Davao city is already a hardened area,” he said.
‘Listen to Filipino people’
However, some people still oppose the extension of Martial Law in Mindanao. ACT Teachers Representative France Castro said that the President must ‘listen to the Filipino people.’
Castro claims that not all residents in Mindanao are satisfied with Martial Law and is criticizing it.
“Instead of ‘listening to his men’, he should be listening to the people. Mas malakas at magiit ang mga boses ng ating mga kapatid na Moro, mga Lumad lalo na ang mga bata at gurong nagpupumilit lang na itaguyod ang karapatan sa edukasyon, mga pesante at magsasaka,” Representative France Castro said.
“Silang lahat ay biktima ng human rights violations sa ilalim ng martial law na ito. Because of these violations, martial law should not be extended even a day longer,” he added.