Mar­tial law, maybe an­other year

Sun.Star Baguio - - Opinion - SunS­tar Davao

IT CAME as not much of a sur­prise when the Armed Forces of the Philip­pines (AFP) and the Philip­pine Na­tional Po­lice (PNP) said they have rec­om­mended to Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte the ex­ten­sion of mar­tial law in Min­danao for an­other year.

AFP Chief-of-Staff

Gen­eral Car­l­ito Galvez

Jr. said “There is a clamor for the ex­ten­sion con­sid­er­ing that ter­ror­ism is still lurk­ing in the area.”

House Ma­jor­ity Leader Rolando An­daya Jr. said the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tive will most likely grant the ex­ten­sion of mar­tial in Min­danao should the Pres­i­dent re­quest it.

Even prior to their rec­om­men­da­tion, it was quite clear that the AFP and PNP will likely rec­om­mend af­ter mak­ing state­ments that there is "clamor" for its ex­ten­sion.

It was also not a sur­prise that hu­man rights groups and the crit­ics of the govern­ment ex­pressed their op­po­si­tion to the rec­om­men­da­tion. They have made al­le­ga­tions that there have been hu­man rights vi­o­la­tion dur­ing the course of the im­ple­men­ta­tion of mar­tial law in Min­danao.

The mil­i­tary have also claimed that there are no hu­man rights vi­o­la­tions that hap­pened dur­ing the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the mar­tial law.

How­ever, is it re­ally nec­es­sary to ex­tend mar­tial law for the whole of Min­danao? Can't the mil­i­tary and the po­lice only rec­om­mend its im­ple­men­ta­tion in se­lected ar­eas only? Es­pe­cially in ar­eas where there is a high se­cu­rity risk.

The mil­i­tary and po­lice said they have con­ducted con­sul­ta­tions for the pos­si­ble ex­ten­sion of mar­tial law. But it seems like they have not con­ducted any con­sul­ta­tions at the grass roots level. Does a ma­jor­ity of Min­dana­wons want the mar­tial law im­ple­mented in the whole of Min­danao or por­tions only?

Sadly, it may be too late now to ask the gen­eral con­cen­sus of all Min­dana­wons on how they hope the mar­tial law be im­ple­mented.

"Ac­tu­ally, if we would leave it to the AFP, they would rec­om­mend mar­tial law for­ever," Bayan Muna Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Car­los Zarate said.

The govern­ment might want to con­sider a trans­par­ent pub­lic poll on Min­dana­wons' views and rec­om­men­da­tions on the fu­ture of mar­tial law in Min­danao. Yes, it may have its ben­e­fits but it also has its down­sides.

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