MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte would no longer extend martial law in Mindanao.
“The Office of the President wishes to announce that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte will not extend martial law in Mindanao upon its expiration on December 31, 2019,” presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a Palace briefing Tuesday.
Panelo said Duterte “made the decision following the assessment of his security and defense advisers of the weakening of the terrorist and extremist rebellion, a result of the capture or neutralization of their leaders, as well as the decrease in the crime index, among the factors considered.”
“Contrary to the suppositions of the vocal minority on the proclamation of martial law in Mindanao, this decision of the President shows how he responds to the situation on the ground,” he also said.
“The Palace is confident on the capability of our security forces in maintaining the peace and security of Mindanao without extending Martial Law,” he added.
The Palace official further said that “the people of Mindanao are assured that any incipient major threat in the region would be nipped in the bud.”
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on December 4 recommended to Duterte the non-extension of martial law in Mindanao, saying they have could now “maintain the peace and order and improve it further.”
Duterte placed the entire Mindanao under martial law on May 23, 2017, after the homegrown ISIS-inspired Maute Group attacked Marawi City.
Initially, Mindanao’s martial law was valid for 60 days but the President has succeeded in asking Congress to extend it three times.
Edited by KGA
Defense chief sees no need for Mindanao martial law extension
Lorenzana recommends non-extension of martial law in Mindanao
One more year of martial law in Mindanao pushed
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.