Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesman Edgard Arevalo said Tuesday the military supports a selective coverage of martial law in Mindanao as the peace and order situation in some areas there has improved.
“We have articulated our support to the selective coverage of martial law as deemed warranted by the local chief executive and validated by our operational commanders on the ground,” Arevalo said in a statement.
He cited Eastern Mindanao Command head Filemon Santos’ support for the lifting of military rule in Davao City following a recommendation from Mayor Sara Duterte.
But Arevalo said while the military supports the calls made by Sara Duterte on the lifting of martial law in Davao City, the final decision was still up to President Rodrigo Duterte.
Reports said the presidential daughter was considering sending letters to the House of Representatives and Department of National Defense asking them to exempt Davao City from martial law. The mayor has already sent a letter to the Office of the President.
In a separate interview with reporters, Santos said the peace and security situation in Davao City was normal.
Santos is in favor of the selective implementation of martial law as he admitted that other areas in Mindanao still had security problems.
Mindanao has been under martial rule since May 2017. Military rule was declared over the entire island group in response to the ISIS-inspired Maute Group’s attempt to establish a caliphate in Marawi City.
It was initially valid only for 60 days, but President Duterte requested to extend it thrice.
Martial law is expected to end in December unless extended by Congress. With PNA