IT’S official. The Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ have signed a joint document recommending the extension of martial law in Mindanao for another year as security officials say it would be crucial in keeping terrorism and criminality in check in the region.
PNP chief, Director General Oscar D. Albayalde made the disclosure during a television interview where he said he and outgoing AFP chief Gen. Carlito G. Galvez Jr. had signed the recommendation amid drastic improvements in the peace and order condition in the South since President Duterte imposed martial law in the area.
He said since the martial rule was imposed in Mindanao, crime volume dropped by 28,853 or 32.8 percent. The PNP chief said they also recorded a 44.2 percent reduction in index crimes region as incidents of murder, homicide and physical injuries have dropped significantly.
Gen. Albayalde said martial law in the region has also resulted in the seizure of around 10,000 loose firearms which could have been used to commit violence by lawless elements and other persons including rogue politicians.
“These are all the good effects of martial law in Mindanao,” the PNP chief declared.
What’s more important, he said is that they haven’t recorded any human rights violation in the region since martial law was declared. The PNP chief said that although some quarters have claimed there were martial law abuses in the region, all of them were unsubstantiated, all mere allegations and no single case was filed.
Last week, citing a significant reduction in crime and ISIS-inspired terror activities in Mindanao since martial law was imposed in the region in May 2017, four Mindanao-based police regional offices and their respective Regional Peace and Order Councils (RPOCs) have recommended to the PNP leadership the extension of martial rule in the southern Philippines.
The recommendations forwarded to the National Peace and Order Council were made amid the positive impact on economy and peace and order condition in Mindanao from May 2017 to date, with no human rights violations.
Officials likewise noted that since martial law was imposed in the region in June 2017, security forces and their checkpoints have effectively constricted the movement of the New People’s Army, the Maute Group and the Abu Sayyaf Group in the region
Meanwhile, Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo yesterday assured President Duterte that the House of Representatives would extend martial law and suspension of the writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao for another year.
Arroyo said her leadership is just awaiting the formal request from President Duterte on the matter.
“If it comes to our Chamber, I will recommend that we pass it,” Arroyo told reporters in an ambush interview.
House Majority Floor Leader and Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando “Nonoy” Andaya, Jr. reiterated his support on the matter after General Galvez and the PNP recommended extending martial law in Mindanao.
“If the President will ask for it, then chances are it shall be given,” said Andaya.
“The inputs and views of the congressmen from Mindanao, who represent the people directly affected, will carry much weight during the deliberations,” said Andaya.
With Ryan Ponce Pacpaco