Maguindanao lawmaker favors martial law extension in Mindanao
PALO,Leyte – Maguindanao Rep. Zajid Mangudadatu is optimistic that Congress would grant the request of President Duterte to extend martial law in Mindanao.
Mangudadatu, who was in this town as a guest for a province-wide awarding of outstanding farmers’ groups Tuesday, also asked Filipinos to realize that since Mindanao was placed under martial law on May 23, 2017, the island largely benefited from it.
“Some of the members of Congress are willing to extend martial law in Mindanao and I am for its extension as Mindanao benefited from its imposition,” Mangudadatu said in an interview.
“For one, people became disciplined. At saka, nakita din naman natin na di umabuso ang ating (And then, we also saw that) government troops (did not abuse),” Mangundadatu said.
President Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao after Islamic State-allied militants attacked Marawi City on May 23, 2017.
The President again asked for the continuation of martial law until the end of 2017.
Mr. Duterte, however, is again seeking for its extension until the end of this year.
Other than what he called ‘advantages’ of martial law in Mindanao, Mangudadatu said the proliferation of firearms and the operation of terror groups continued to exist on the island.
“Ang sa akin, hanggat hindi nuubos yung mga loose firearms at hindi pa nuubos yung mga criminal, yung mga local terrorist groups, gusto ko pa (ang martial law),” the Maguindanao solon added.
(For me, until the loose firearms and the criminals and local terrorist groups continue to exist, I still want martial law.)
Mangudadatu believed that once these problems are addressed through martial law, Mindanao would be peaceful.
Asked if the issuance of Memorandum Order 32 would eventually lead to the imposition of martial law on the rest of the country, Mangundadatu dismissed it.
“I don’t think so. We have different situations. Here in Leyte, there is no problem of its peace and order,” he said.
According to him, martial law was declared in Mindanao primarily because its peace and order are threatened by terror groups unlike in the Visayas or Luzon.
Among the areas identified under MO 32 which sought for the deployment of additional troops is Samar, which is often rocked by killings due to the presence of New People’s Army and private armed groups.
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