Martial law extension in Mindanao unnecessary – CDO Archbishop Ledesma
Extending the imposition of martial law in Mindanao for another year is not necessary.
This was the sentiment of Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Antonio Ledesma, as he urged the government to implement military rule only until its original December 31, 2017 deadline.
“In general, I am not in favor of it,” Ledesma told reporters on Monday when asked to comment on President Duterte’s plan to ask Congress for a one-year extension of martial law in the region.
On Monday, a letter requesting the extension of military rule in Mindanao following the bloody Marawi City siege was transmitted to Congress.
This was upon the recommendation of the military and police so that government troops could continue to hunt down terrorists, who survived the five-month siege, as well as quell reported emerging terror and public order threats in the region.
It may be recalled that Mr. Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao last May 23, which was eventually extended up to December 31, 2017.
According to Ledesma, there would be no need to extend the military rule in Mindanao and that new terrorist threats, if any, should be handled by the police and military in their normal capacity.
He warned that the continued imposition of martial law may adversely affect Mindanao’s economy.
“Martial law will only affect the economic standing of Mindanao. There are less investors because of that,” the prelate said.
Ledesma said Catholic bishops and priests will be meeting with Muslim leaders in the island to discuss the issue, and that they will defer to the wisdom of the Muslim leaders.
“We would discuss it with the Muslim leaders. We should follow the Muslim leaders. They are the ones that would be affected by this,” the bishop said. /kga
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