DAVAO CITY, Philippines – A resolution from the City Peace and Order Council (CPOC) will be submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte requesting for the exemption of the City from martial law.
Public Safety and Security Command Center (PSSCC) head Benito de Leon announced on Thursday that the said resolution was passed during the CPOC’s meeting this week.
He said that based on the evaluation from the Joint Task Force (TF) Haribon, martial law may be lifted given the security situation of Davao City.
Joint TF Haribon is an anti-terror unit under the Eastern Mindanao Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio pushed for Davao City’s exemption from martial law following the concerns by foreign investors and tourists.
De Leon told reporters that if martial law would be lifted in the City, they hoped travel advisories issued by some Western countries would also be lifted.
“It would give a good impression for the people outside Davao City if the martial law would be lifted,” de Leon said, pointing out that foreigners would perceive a place as safe if there is no declaration such as martial law.
He also said that another consideration for the recommendation is that civil authorities in Davao City are still functioning and have not been disrupted.
“On this note, the military said that the premises
for the imposition of martial law does not exist here in Davao City,” he added.
Also, de Leon said that there’ll be no expected changes in the security measures in the City following the lifting of martial law. He noted that different police and military forces, including the Davao City Police Office and Task Force Davao, are actively providing security to the City.
On the other hand, progressive groups under Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) called on for the lifting of martial law not just in Davao City, but for the whole of Mindanao.
They said that martial law has taken its toll especially on farmers and Lumad communities, documenting several cases of rights violations.
However, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. previously mentioned recommending another year of martial law, possibly the fourth extension since it was first declared by President Duterte in 2017.
Last year, the previous Congress granted Duterte’s request to extend martial law until the end of 2019. (davaotoday.com)