CITING a significant reduction in crime, insurgents’ attack 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 Philippine National Police the extension of martial rule in the Southern Philippines, the Journal Group learned.
The recommendations forwarded to the National Peace and Order Council last week 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 associated with the martial law declared under the former Ferdinand Marcos administration being recorded so far.
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.
Police Regional Office 9 director Chief Superintendent Emmanuel Luis D. Licup told the Joint National Peace and Order Council and 4th RPOC Cluster Meeting in Davao City last Monday that the implementation of martial law in Mindanao and relentless government offensive against pro-ISIS groups including the Abu Sayyaf have weakened the terrorists’ capability to retaliate against government forces.
Licup also said the martial rule in the region has also greatly weakened the New People’s Army movement in the region with the rebels now concentrating their effort to expand their mass organization, black propaganda and recruitment programs after being upset by the series of surrender of their mass supporters and members.
The Police Regional Office 11 in Southern Mindanao headed by Chief Supt. Marcelo C. Morales and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Police Regional Office headed by Chief Supt. Graciano J. Mijares and their respective RPOCs have also made similar recommendations.
The RPOC 13 Executive Committee in Caraga region also issued a resolution supporting the extension of martial law and suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao for one year in preservation of peace and public safety, said PRO13 director, Chief Supt. Gilbert DC Cruz.
The RPO13 said there is a need for a martial law extension in the region to help totally eradicate local/foreign terrorist groups and armed lawless elements including the NPA and their coddlers, supporters and financiers.
Armed Forces chief of staff General Carlito G. Galvez Jr. cited the positive impact of the martial law on Mindanao’s economy.