AFP Chief of Staff : Martial law beneficial for Mindanao

AFP Chief of Staff : Martial law beneficial for Mindanao

Martial law is beneficial to Mindanao.

Some quarters of society who are critical to the policies of President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration have raised the issue of abuse if the declaration of martial law would be extended for the 3rd time.

The second extension of martial law in Mindanao would only be effective up to Dec. 31, 2018.

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief-of-staff Gen. Carlito Galvez, Jr. (photo credit to owner)

The President gave the Armed Forces of the Philippines time to submit recommendation whether or not there is a need to extend the effectivity of martial law in Mindanao after the end of the year.

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Gen. Carlito Galvez, Jr. in a press conference in Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City said that the ongoing implementation of martial law in Mindanao has brought peace and order and many other benefits to the island.

"Peace in Mindanao has never been closer than in the times that martial law is in place. Despite the opposition from some groups, we have been clear from the very beginning of our intentions and our actions so far have proven them wrong," Galvez said.

Galvez adds that the AFP has received positive feedbacks from various stakeholders in the area regarding the implementation of martial law of the AFP.

"We have joined rounds of consultation with the primary stakeholders in the peace, security, and development in Mindanao and we have received overwhelming positive feedback, not only on our efficient implementation of martial law, but also its impact to security, local economy, and governance and well-being of local communities," the AFP chief added.

Said assessments are just partial as the military has not visited other areas in Mindanao, but Galvez is already happy and optimistic of the results so far.

"Martial law has led to increased tourist and economic activity in Mindanao, especially in areas previously thought of as inaccessible to visitors from Luzon and Visayas. The improved security situation is so inviting that it is no longer unusual to find tourists exploring Bongao, Tawi-Tawi, Basilan, Davao, Zamboanga City, or island hopping in Jolo, Sulu. The development created more jobs and empowered residents to become active players in the peace and security of their communities," he noted.

Cooperation with the local government units (LGUs) has brought an unprecedented number of confiscated loose firearms ir surrendered to the government, with 5,685 firearms recovered in Mindanao alone.

"Movements of known terrorist groups such as the New People’s Army, Maute Group, and the ASG (Abu Sayyaf Group) have also been constricted. In Eastern Mindanao alone, 11,333 CPP-NPA (Communist Party of the Philippines) members and supporters have been given an opportunity to experience a more peaceful and productive way of life," the AFP Chief Galvez said.

Over 300 members of local terrorist groups, 572 of which are members of the Abu Sayyaf Group, who chose to abandon the fight with government in exchange for reformation and reintegration also joins the 11,333 NPA surreenderees said the AFP Chief of Staff.
"By next year, as the trend is sustained, we can make these terrorists irrelevant," Galvez stressed.

As for the number of recipients of the Seal of Good Governance it has increased from only 6 in 2016, now it has 23 in 2018 in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

On the economic side of the spectrum, the performance of the ARMM has also increased from  4.3 to 7.3 GDP.

Zamboanga alone has reaped a big chunk of the benfits of peace and order because of the ongoing martial law when it was ranked 102nd in 2017 in terms of economic standing, jumped to the rank of 41 in 2018.

"Despite these developments, we are aware that our job is far from over. We must capitalize on these gains moving forward. The year 2018 has been very productive and beneficial for the people of Mindanao. We thank Mindanaoans for their trust and confidence on our soldiers, who to this day continue to risk their life in search for just and lasting peace in the Land of Promise,"  AFP Chief of Staff Galvez added.

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Report from PNA

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