Police and military officials have signed a document recommending to President Rodrigo Duterte a year-long extension of martial law in Mindanao, Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief, Director General Oscar Albayalde, confirmed.
“We have just signed a document together with the outgoing military chief of staff (Gen. Carlito Galvez) recommending the extension of martial law in Mindanao for another one year,” Albayalde said in a TV interview on Wednesday.
Citing PNP data, he said crime volume in Mindanao dropped by 32.8 percent since January this year.
“Because of the martial law, we have a drastic improvement on the peace and order situation in Mindanao where the crime volume dropped by 28,853 or 32.8 percent — because of the implementation of martial law and because of the forces present there now conducting target hardening measures, military operations, police operations, checkpoint operations,” he said.
Albayalde said most notable is the 44.2-percent decrease on index crimes, which include murder, physical injuries, and homicide cases.
The freedom to conduct operations and implementation of security measures under martial law has also resulted in the confiscation of some 10,000 loose guns in Mindanao, he added.
“So, these are all the good effects of martial law in Mindanao,” Albayalde said, adding that it resulted in the people of Mindanao feeling safer now.
He said there has been no reported incident of human rights violation since the declaration of martial law in the island.
“That’s one thing good. We haven’t heard of any or a single case of human rights violation in Mindanao since the implementation of martial law. These are all allegations by the same sectors of society, but no case was ever filed. These are all allegations and not even substantiated,” he noted.
Martial law in Mindanao was declared on May 23, 2017 following attacks launched by the Maute Group in Marawi City.
The House of Representatives, in a special joint session in July last year, granted the extension of martial law until Dec. 31, 2017 at the President’s request.
The Senate and House of Representatives, convening in a joint session early December, granted the Chief Executive’s request for the extension of martial law and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus for a period of one year from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2018. (PNA/Christopher Lloyd Caliwan)