Military open to Inday Sara’s pitch to exempt Davao City from martial law
MANILA, Philippines — The military said Tuesday it is open to Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte’s proposal of exempting Davao City from the Mindanao-wide martial law.
“We will assess. Pagka-malapit na, by December, we will assess. For Davao City, wala naman sigurong problema but for other areas, we’ll reassess kung anong mare-recommend namin,” Eastern Mindanao Command chief Lt. Gen. Felimon Santos told reporters.
Duterte said last week she will ask the Office of the President to lift martial law in her city even before it is set to expire on December 31.
She said the security situation in her city and other areas in Mindanao have already improved.
Mindanao has been under martial law since the Marawi City siege in 2017 – the months-long war and the biggest security crisis of the Duterte administration. President Rodrigo Duterte asked Congress for the extension of martial law in the Southern region three times.
According to Santos, the possible lifting of martial law in Davao City will depend on the assessment of the security sector but agreed with Duterte that the city has already been stable.
“We’ll have a meeting siguro with the security sector ng Davao City as recommended by the mayor… We are continuously assessing, continuous ang assessment… As of now, we have a very good development within Davao City sa buong area ng Davao City, including ‘yung mga districts,” he said.
He also said they have not monitored any threats from Maute Group as they have cleared more areas from armed insurgents in the city.
Defense Spokesperson Dir. Arsenio Andolong, meanwhile, said they have taken note of the presidential daughter’s proposal and would also want martial law in Mindanao to be lifted.
He said concerned agencies constantly monitor the region for the lifting of martial law there.
“We value the wisdom and firsthand knowledge of our local executives on the prevailing security environment in their respective communities and we always take their observations and recommendations into consideration,” he said.
“In fact, we would like to lift martial law in Mindanao as soon as possible but this should not only be done after a complete assessment and validation by the security sector and local governments before we recommend it to the President,” he added. (Editor: Katherine G. Adraneda)
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