65% of Filipinos think martial law in Mindanao shouldn't be extended beyond December 31 deadline — SWS

Gaea Katreena Cabico - Philstar.com
65% of Filipinos think martial law in Mindanao shouldn't be extended beyond December 31 deadline � SWS
File photo shows personnel of the Cotabato City police office screen motorists at a checkpoint into the city from Datu Odin Sinsuat town in Maguindanao.
John Unson, File

MANILA, Philippines — A large majority of Filipinos believe that martial law in Mindanao should expire by the end of 2019, results of a new Social Weather Stations survey suggest.

Of the 1,200 adults surveyed, 65% said martial law in the southern Philippines should not be extended beyond its December 31 deadline. Only 34% believe it should be extended for a longer period while 1% did not give an answer.

The polling firm noted that the proportion of those who call for the termination of martial in Mindanao by year-end is high in all areas: 67% in Metro Manila, 67% in Visayas, 66% in Balance Luzon and 61% in Mindanao.

Of those who support the extension of martial law, 22% said it should be prolonged in the whole of Mindanao, 7% said it should be extended only in Marawi City and the province of Lanao del Sur while 5% believe it should be extended in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur and nearby provinces.

Mindanao has been under martial law since May 2017, following an encounter between government troops and the Maute terror group in Marawi City.

Although initially set for 60 days, the declaration of martial has since been extended upon approval by both Senate and House of Representatives of the chief executive’s request.

Early this month, Malacañang announced that President Rodrigo Duterte, heeding the recommendation of security officials, would not seek another extension of martial law in Mindanao.

No more threat in Mindanao

Nearly half or 49% of those surveyed agreed with the statement “At present, there is no more threat that another Marawi-like terrorist attack can happen anywhere in Mindanao.” Of the figure, 20% said they strongly agree, while 29% said they somewhat agree.

Only 16% believe there is still a threat in the southern Philippines, while 35% are undecided about the matter.

This yielded a net agreement score of +33, classified by SWS as “very strong.”

The survey also found that 55% of the respondents think that the military has committed very few, if any, human rights abuses in Mindanao since martial law was declared. Fourteen percent disagreed, while 35% were undecided about the matter.

This gave a “very strong” net agreement score of +41.

The survey was conducted from December 13 to 16 using face-to-face interviews. It has sampling error margins of ±3% for national percentages, and ±6% each for Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

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