Tue, 18 Jun 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Dec. 10 (PIA)--Northern Mindanao Peace and Order Council passed a resolution supporting the extension of Martial Law in Mindanao.

At the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) 10 full council meeting on December 10, council chair Mayor Oscar Moreno of Cagayan de Oro City said, "The Marawi incident requires decisive and swift action, and therefore I support the extension of Martial Law in Mindanao."

Given the atrocities perpetrated in Marawi City by lawless elements, and to thwart and suppress terroristic objectives, the mayor supported the recommendation for the declaration of Martial Law extension covering the whole island of Mindanao.

This declaration, according to him, is a decisive and focused move, meant to finally bring lasting peace and harmony in Mindanao. He however expressed his fervent hope that the operationalization of martial rule will not subvert the sovereign people's collective will; and neither will it disregard constitutional guarantees, except in cases that are more than reasonably necessary to achieve its sole purpose.

He further said the situation remains the same and the government is taking precautionary measures to avoid collateral damages affecting civilians.

"Kining Martial Law para sa terroristic activities. Andoon pa yung threats ng terroristic activities. (This Martial Law is to address terroristic activities. There are still threats of terrorism activities). Let us not wait things to happen such as the Isulan bombing," mayor Moreno said.

The mayor also said this is a different kind of martial law experienced in 70s up to the 80s. It is motivated for a different purpose. In fact, this is more of defensive to and a strong message to those who may have terroristic plans that the government will act decisively and swiftly if they do their plans.

The extension for the same purpose declared in 2017 is anchored on solid grounds. "Wala man tay abuse nakita. Kung meron man, sigurado yan lalabas sa media (No abuse was found. If any, it sure comes out in the media)," Moreno said.

Mayor Moreno said the council is recommending the extension of martial within parameters as may be recommended by the military and the Philippine National Police (PNP) and in accordance with the concurrences of both houses of congress which is required in the 1987 Constitution in which the extension is not just only a unilateral act of the President but also requires the concurrences of both houses of the congress.

Any question of the martial law extension thereof, if any, Moreno said would be within the complacence of the Supreme Court for judicial review. "So naay mga (there are) safeguards introduced in 1987 Constitution that would ensure abuses that were made in 70s Martial Law will no longer be possible now, he said.

This recommendation is anchored on Mindanao condition. Mindanao still needs the declaration at this time. Economy of Mindanao has grown; and peace and order conditions have improved across the island. Also, to ensure peaceful and orderly Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) plebiscite and midterm elections next year.

However, the council also wished the security sector would work hand in hand with the civilian sector expressing its willingness to participate in the nation building.

The chairperson meanwhile presented a letter signed by Governor Jose Maria R. Zubiri, Jr. of Bukidnon province confirming his full support with respect to the extension of Martial Law.

The governor firmly believes the extension is needed for the continued progress in the region.

As far as the PNP in concerned, our collaboration with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has given plan beyond normal procedures.

Recently, Moreno shared that the city government of Cagayan de Oro formed the Barangay Tanod Development Committee to strengthen the interplay between village officials and police in their effort to stop proliferation of crimes and illegal drugs in Cagayan de Oro villages. The idea here is to ensure the barangay tanods (barangay police) truly becomes forced multipliers of the police. (eor/PIA)

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