Martial law extension to pave way for foreign firms in Marawi, fears militant group
DAVAO CITY — The militant Moro group Suara Bangsamoro warned that the extension of martial law would open the door to the entry of foreign capital and foreign corporations to the war-torn Marawi City and put the Maranao in the peripheries.
Suara spokesperson Jerome Sucor Aba also said martial law extension in Mindanao would threaten the plebiscite scheduled in January next year to facilitate the establishment of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
The Eastern Mindanao Command here on Wednesday expressed its support to the planned extension of martial law in Mindanao for another year as the top leadership of both the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) announced they had signed their recommendation to the President to extend martial law.
Balagtey also welcomed the possible appointment of incumbent Eastmincom Chief Lt. General Benjamin Madrigal Jr. to the top post of the AFP.
“Marawi City is still in ruins,” Aba said. “The Meranaws remain displaced. However, foreign investors and the Duterte administration see this as an open door for their capital to get inside the city,” Aba said.
“The entry of businesses will put the Meranaws in the peripheries without assurance that they can get back to their lands and homes,” he added.
He also said the Moro communities, who experienced fear because of intense militarization would not be in a good position to vote and decide freely during the plebiscite.
“The experience … would affect their capacity to vote. (Their difficult situation) affects their right to participate in matters that have a huge bearing on their lives,” he said.
Lt Col. Ezra Balagtey, speaking for the Eastern Mindanao Command, said the extension of martial law in Mindanao would bring peace and development in the Army’s area of responsibility.
“We support the extension of martial law in Mindanao because it was implemented effectively and efficiently,” Balagtey said, following the announcement of top police and military officials who signed the recommendation to the President.
“With these developments, we admit we still have more work to do. We will capitalize on these gains to move forward and achieve a peaceful and progressive Eastern Mindanao,” Balagtey said.
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