No to martial law extension in Mindanao.
This was the stand taken by the Department of the Interior and Local Government as it supported the recommendation of the Department of National Defense not to extend martial law in Mindanao.
"We concur with the DND that the purpose of martial law has been attained based on the assessment of military and police forces as normalcy has returned to the entire region and the peace and order situation in the area has remarkably improved since the Marawi Siege of 2017," DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said in a statement.
The DILG chief said, there is no need to extend martial law since after it was implemented in the region, security officials have said that they have ‘significantly degraded" the forces of local terrorists in the area.
"Our local government units, through their respective local peace and order councils from the regional down to the barangay level, are also now more engaged and are actively working with their counterparts in the security sector to carry out peace and security measures in Mindanao," Año said.
Año, a former military chief of staff, added that the non-extension of martial law in Mindanao would help boost the economy as it will bring more local and foreign investments as well as increase tourist arrivals in the region.
Año, however, assured the public that even without martial law in Mindanao, security forces will continue to maintain its strong presence in the region through sustained security operations, offensives, and checkpoints.
Last Wednesday, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said he already sent a recommendation to the Office of the President, saying that there was no need to extend martial law in Mindanao based on the assessment of the military and police.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said President Rodrigo Duterte would consider the recommendation of the people on the ground.
The government has placed the entire Mindanao under martial law in May 2017, the entire Mindanao following the attack of the ISIS-inspired Maute on Marawi City.
The ML then was supposed to last for only 60 days, but President Duterte requested Congress to extend it thrice. It is slated to end on Dec. 31, 2019.