Over 1K signatures to back Mindanao martial law submitted to OSG
Three Mindanao leaders filed before the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) on Thursday a manifesto, containing more than a thousand signatures of residents supporting the extension of martial law in Mindanao.
Mark Siacon and Joenime Kapina, former provincial board members of Sultan Kudarat; and Michael Abas Kida, president of Aksyon Mamamayan (AKMA) Bantay Demokrasya submitted a report, including the manifesto which had 1,200 signatures, to the OSG to back the martial law extension, which legality is being questioned before the Supreme Court (SC).
The signatures in the manifesto were said to be affixed by residents of Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao, and Davao City.
Siacon, Kapina and Abas were assisted by the Volunteers against Crime and Corruption (VACC).
VACC founding chairman and president Dante Jimenez said residents in the provinces have initiated the signature campaign to support the martial law extension.
“I hope these will substantiate itong kine-claim ng mga grupo na there should be an extension of martial law in Mindanao,” Jimenez told reporters.
“Let’s hope the Supreme Court will really be considerate in regards with this argument,” he added.
Siacon, a resident of the town of Palimbang, said criminal and terror activities were suppressed when martial law was declared on May 30, 2017 at the height of the Marawi City siege.
“Napakalaki po ng tulong ng declaration ng martial law sapagkat naprevent ‘yung mga [criminal activities], ‘yung loose firearms, saka ‘yung terrorism,” Siacon told INQUIRER.net in an interview.
(The martial law declaration has helped a lot because it has prevented criminal activities, loose firearms, and terrorism.)
Siacon said the declaration has also helped in curbing the activities of private armed groups allegedly linked to Palimbang mayor Abubakar Maulana.
Maulana has gone into hiding since the Branch 19 of the Sultan Kudarat Regional Trial Court issued a warrant of arrest against him for illegal possession of explosives.
Siacon also said Palimbang was a hotbed of extremist fighters that fought in Marawi City.
In 2015, authorities killed eight gunmen carrying Islamic State (IS) flags during an encounter in Palimbang.
The men were reportedly led by the late Mohammad Jaafar Maguid alias Tokboy, leader of the pro-IS group Ansar Khilafa Philippines (AKP). Maguid, who was killed in 2017 in a military operation, was tagged by authorities as the brains behind the Davao City night market blast in 2016.
His wife, Karen Aizha Hamidon, was arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for allegedly using social media to promote extremist propaganda and recruit IS fighters.
Last December 31, two roadside blasts happened in Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat and Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao in which three people were killed, including a police officer, while several were injured.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.