EDITORIAL - Martial law extension
(The Freeman) - December 16, 2018 - 12:00am

Congress has extended martial law in Mindanao as sought by no less than President Rodrigo Duterte. So, we will have another year of military rule in the south as the government continues to deal with the peace and order problem in the region.


Since Duterte declared martial law following the deadly assault on Marawi City in May last year by the combined forces of the Abu Sayyaf and the Maute Group, there has never any major conflict between government forces and Muslim terrorists in Mindanao.

Still, there were encounters between the military and Muslim terrorists such the Abu Sayyaf and other groups, especially in Sulu and Central Mindanao. Bomb blasts also rocked Mindanao the past months.

These are just some of the reasons why Duterte pushed for extending martial law in the country’s second biggest island. And he managed to get the support of almost all local chief executives in Mindanao.         

Now, a year and a half since the Marawi City siege, did the government achieve its goal of quashing any further rebellion in the south through martial law? This is a question that has divided Filipinos.

Well, since there has been no major uproar against the military rule in Mindanao, it is understood that majority of Filipinos have supported the declaration. It is also important to note that Mindanaoans have never lifted a finger to oppose it.

Yes, there are those who find the martial law unnecessary because the war in Marawi was only sidelined to the city. Besides, some also feared that the declaration might also result in human rights abuses by the military. 

In fact, a petition is now being filed by opposition congressmen before the Supreme Court seeking to stop the martial law extension.  Will the high court grant the petition? Or will it favor Congress’ approval of the martial law extension? The ball is now in the hands of the justices.

  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with