AFP to recommend martial law extension in Mindanao
ZAMBOANGA CITY—Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr. said the military would recommend the extension of martial law in Mindanao, citing the result of military assessments and favorable feedbacks from local chief executives in the region.
“In the Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom), we had a very lengthy assessment and we saw that most of the local government units were recommending the extension of martial law,” Galvez said on Tuesday night before presiding over a conference of the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) here.
Galvez claimed that most of the provincial governors in Mindanao wanted martial law extended in their areas.
He said he would discuss this development with President Rodrigo Duterte as soon as Eastmincom and Westmincom have finalized their recommendations.
“That’s why, we’re [also] meeting at Westmincom so that [we will have our] comprehensive report,” Galvez said.
Maj. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, commander of the 6th Infantry Division based in central Mindanao, said the military was able to thwart lawlessness in his areas of responsibility because of martial law.
Consult people first
“It helps a lot in our campaign against all forms of lawlessness and encourages the civil government to do their jobs,” Sobejana said.
Though, he said, there is a need to extend martial rule in Mindanao, the people in the region should be consulted first.
Groups opposed to martial law earlier criticized the military’s inability to stop the series of bombings in the South in recent months.
Like Galvez, Sobejana said he had been receiving favorable feedback from local chief executives on plans to extend martial law in central Mindanao.
“The province of Lanao del Sur manifested [its] support for the extension of martial law, as well as Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat. I am waiting for North Cotabato. I’m waiting for their consensus,” Sobejana said.
Brig. Gen. Divino Rey Pabayo, commander of Joint Task Force Sulu, said martial law improved law and order in Sulu province.
Mayor Ben Estino of Panglima Estino town also said martial law was a big help in the fight against terror groups like the Abu Sayyaf. —Julie Alipala
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