Mindanao leaders back martial law extension
ILIGAN CITY—Mindanao leaders expressed qualified support for the extension of martial law once the declaration expires at the end of the year.
Leaders of the two Lanao provinces backed the extension after Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana suggested that it might not be necessary to extend martial law if Congress enacts the proposed Human Security Act.
A state of martial law was first declared by President Duterte on May 23, 2017, and has been extended three times by Congress, up to the end of this year.
Motu proprio resolution
But the peace and order council of Lanao del Norte province passed a resolution on Friday favoring the extension of martial law.
Lanao del Norte Gov. Imelda Quibranza-Dimaporo said the move was meant to prevent the inroads of lawless groups into the province and disturb its security situation.
This view was shared by Lanao del Sur Gov. Mamintal Adiong Jr.
Adiong told the Inquire that keeping martial law would help ensure the smooth implementation of rehabilitation work in Marawi City because increased military and police presence reduces the threat from violent extremists.
Marawi Mayor Majul Gandamra also favored martial law extension for its security benefits because many residents are still struggling to normalize their disrupted lives after the Marawi siege.
But Iligan City Mayor Celso Regencia, a former police official, said there must be increased security presence in areas threatened by extremists before martial law is lifted.
Lanao del Norte Rep. Mohamad Khalid Dimaporo said a well-coordinated security mechanism would ensure peace and order in Mindanao since remnants of the Maute group that laid siege on Marawi still evoke worries among the people.
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