Martial law lifted but Mindanao still under state of emergency
In May 2017, Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao after the principal Islamic City of Marawi was stormed by homegrown terrorists loyal to the Islamic State.
The STAR/Boy Santos, File
Martial law lifted but Mindanao still under state of emergency
(Philstar.com) - January 2, 2020 - 11:29am

MANLA, Philippines — Mindanao is no longer under martial law at the start of 2020 but it remains under a state of emergency, the Armed Forces of the Philippines said.

Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, spokesperson of the AFP, told DzMM on Thursday morning that President Rodrigo Duterte’s Proclamation No. 55, which placed the entire Mindanao under state of emergency on account of lawless violence, remains in effect.

READ: Martial law in Mindanao ends after 953 days

“Patuloy pa rin po ang ating gagawing operasyon subalit ang makikita po natin na marahil ay kabawasan ay sa mga lugar na nag-improve na po ang security situation,” Arevalo explained.

(Our operations will continue but there may be less [operations] in areas where security situation has improved.)

Duterte placed Mindanao under sate of national emergency in September 2016. The proclamation came days after a bombing incident at a night market in Davao City which left at least 14 people dead and 67 others wounded.

Arevalo added there will be less checkpoints and less soldiers on patrol, but he stressed that this does not mean that security procedures will be lax.

“We need to continue doing this especially in areas where there is still incidents of terrorist violence,” he added in a mix of English and Filipino.

“If our enemies will see that we become relaxed in terms of security, they may slip through again,” he also said.

Mindanao was under martial law for 953 days, ending it only when Duterte decided not to extent it for another year.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Tuesday that security officials are “confident they can maintain the current peace and order in Mindanao and that an attack similar in scale in Marawi cannot be waged by the remnants of the Mautes or by any other terrorist groups in the future.”

In May 2017, Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao after the principal Islamic City of Marawi was stormed by homegrown terrorists loyal to the Islamic State. It was extended for the third time in 2018 and lapsed by the end of 2019.

According to a December 2019 opinion poll by Social Weather Stations, 65% of Filipinos backed the lifting of martial law in Mindanao, with 49% of respondents agreeing that “[a]t present, there is no more threat that another Marawi-like terrorist attack can happen anywhere in Mindanao.” — Kristine Joy Patag with report from Ian Nicolas Cigaral

ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES EDGARD AREVALO MARTIAL LAW MINDANAO
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