Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has formally recommended to President Rodrigo Duterte the non-extension of Martial Law in Mindanao.
Duterte subjected entire Mindanao to Martial Law in May 2017 over attacks by the ISIS-inspired Maute terror group.
The martial law in the region is set to expire on December 31, 2019, which has been extended by Congress since 2017.
At a forum at the Manila Overseas Press Club in Makati, Lorenzana said he had already submitted a recommendation to the president not to extend martial law yesterday, Wednesday.
“I just sent my recommendation today to the President recommending the non-extension of martial law in Mindanao,” said Lorenzana.
Non-extension of Martial Law in Mindanao
According to Lorenzana, in today’s situation in Mindanao, it is easier to maintain peace and order.
He said the military and police had already done what martial law should do.
“With the situation there now, I think we can maintain the peace and order and improve it further, make it more peaceful without martial law…Personally I believe we have achieved our objective,” said the Defense Secretary.
The secretary added that the government is also succeeding today against other terrorist groups in Mindanao, such as the Abu Sayyaf Group.
“The only remaining substantial group is in Jolo province but that also we are succeeding. Last week, there was this encounter that killed five of them, and we were able to recover the British couple,” Lorenzana said.
To date, the military has continued operations to rescue the three Indonesian captives of the ASG.