No need for extension of Martial Law in Mindanao — President Duterte

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Philippines army soldiers ride in trucks into the fighting zone as government troops continue their assault against insurgents from the Maute group in Marawi City
No more of this sight in Mindanao. 

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — There will be no extension of Martial Law in Mindanao and President Rodrigo Duterte and is unlikely to entertain any idea related to it.

“Yang martial law, martial law, wala yan. Kalokohan yan. Bugok lang na presidente gagamit niyan. It’s an overused, abused word, martial law and… its practice,” the President was quoted as saying during a situation briefing in Legazpi City last Friday.

“We will not allow it (extension). I am sure. My military will not allow it. My police will not allow it,” Duterte added.

It was gathered, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana had earlier floated the idea along with a recommendation on the lifting of martial law in Mindanao, citing the assessment of police and military officials.

For his part, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año and police officials also voiced the same observation saying there is no more need to extend martial law due to improving security situation in the region.

A newspaper report also claimed, security officials also cited the significant drop in the crime rate in strategic areas and the weakening of Abu Sayyaf bandits and other terrorist groups with the neutralization of their leaders and the surrender of their members amid relentless military operations.

Martial law in Mindanao, which was declared in October 2017 after Maute militants attacked Marawi, and has been extended thrice before with the last set to expire on Dec. 31.

Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go said another extension is unlikely in view of Lorenzana’s recommendation.

Go said martial law need not be extended if the proposed Human Security Act becomes a law.

“Baka pumasa naman po ito sa Senado. I am a member of the committee on national defense. Pinag-uusapan namin ito,” Go said. (IAMIGO/CNS)

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