IT’S official. The Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines leaderships 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 that 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 region.
He said that since martial rule was imposed in Mindanao, crime volume dropped by 28,853 or 32.8 percent. The PNP chief they also recorded a 44.2 percent reduction in index crimes in the region as incidents of murder, homicide and physical injuries have dropped significantly.
Gen. Albayalde said that 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 in the region 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 the claims were unsubstantiated and no single case was filed.
Officials 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 that 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 on mass organization, black propaganda and recruitment programs after being upset by the series of surrenders 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 1-year in preservation of peace and public safety, said PRO13 director, Chief Supt. Gilbert DC Cruz.
The RPO13 said there is a need for martial law extension in the region to totally eradicate the local and foreign terrorist groups and armed lawless elements including the NPA and their coddlers, supporters and financiers.
It also said that as per testimonies by local officials, there is a great difference between the martial law declared by the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos and the present martial law declared by President Duterte.
“They feel much secure with the present martial law due to its safety nets wherein lots of stakeholders including the media are vigilant to the implementation of the law as well as the protection of human rights,” the RPO13 added.