2 years of martial law: Mindanao still ‘a dangerous place’ – Duterte
MANILA, Philippines — Despite the imposition of martial law in Mindanao for two years now, President Rodrigo Duterte admitted Tuesday that the region remains “a dangerous place.”
“Mindanao is still a dangerous place to go around. That is why it could not be… (in) terms of truth na sabihin mo that everything is alright there and you can go around. Delikado ang Mindanao,” Duterte said in his speech during the oath-taking ceremony of newly-elected local officials in Malacañang.
Mindanao has been under martial law since the Marawi City siege in 2017.
On July 18, 2017, just before his executive order declaring martial law in Mindanao expired, Duterte requested an extension, which Congress approved until December 31, 2017.
He again requested a one-year extension of martial law until December 31, 2018, even as he had declared Marawi “liberated from terrorist influence” in October 2017. Congress granted the request again.
For the third time, Duterte asked for another extension of martial law in Mindanao until December 31, 2019, claiming that “rebellion still persists in Mindanao and that the public safety requires the continuation of martial law in the whole of Mindanao.”
In the same speech, Duterte also reiterated his call for the Moros to exploit their resources and take advantage of the new Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), which was created by the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).
“Ako na ang nagsasabi, bilisan ninyo, ayusin ninyo. The problem is there seems to be a breakdown in the efficient communication between the central government and the BOL,” Duterte said.
“I seldom see them in official ceremonies, functions and all. Sinasabi ko sa kanila bilisan ninyo, because this is the opportunity for us now to connect to them and be true to our word, ‘yung majority ng mga Kristiyanos, na ibigay namin sa inyo ‘yung inyo,” he added.
The BOL is the product of the government’s negotiations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), a breakaway faction of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). (Editor: Katherine G. Adraneda)
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