BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan expressed his full support to the extension of the declaration of martial law in Mindanao as per the request of President Rodrigo R. Duterte to suppress lawless elements, rebellion and terrorism that poses a serious threat to the country’s security.
The local chief executive underscored that those who are knowledgeable on the prevailing situation on the ground are the military and the police, thus, the decision whether or not to extend the martial law will emanate from them because they are aware of the details of the progress of their efforts to curb the threats to the country’s internal security.
“We have to rely on the recommendations of the military and the police when it comes to the matter of declaring or extending martial law in Mindanao because they are the ones who are aware of the actual situation on the ground. We should give due course to their recommendations because they know the intricacies of the existing problem in the South,” Domogan stressed.
He explained the problem with the martial law critics is they are comparing the martial during the Marcos regime to the present martial law which should not be the case because the two martial laws are totally different from each other.
Domogan pointed out the pertinent provisions of the 1987 Constitution specifically provides for the safety nets of the declaration of martial law and the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus that is why the fear of possible abuses among others are safeguarded by the existing rules and regulations in the declaration of martial law.
While the area covered by martial law is Mindanao only, Domogan called on residents to be vigilant on doubtful activities of suspicious-looking individuals in their neighbourhood so that the same could be immediately reported to the police for validation and verification to prevent the escalation of violence in any part of the country.
He said that there is a need for government to suppress lawless elements, rebellion and terrorism in any part of the archipelago so as not to compromise the country’s internal security because the failure of the police and military to do so will definitely be a serious setback in sustaining the prevalence of peace and order nationwide.
According to him, the military and the police seems to be in control of the situation in Marawi city but it seems they need more time to suppress the presence of terrorists in strategic areas in the said place because they were prepared in attempting to declare an Islamic state in the city to gain international recognition.
He added once Congress grants the President’s request for the extension of martial law until the end of the year, it is still best for the people in the different parts of the country to be vigilant about the prevailing peace and order situation and the potential threats to the law and order in their communities so that law enforcers will be given the chance to thwart whatever threats to the country’s external and internal security in the future.
By Dexter A. See