Police, military recommend extending martial law in Mindanao for one year
The Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) recommend extending martial law in Mindanao for one more year, according to PNP Director General Oscar Albayalde.
"We have just signed a document together with the outgoing AFP chief of staff ( General Carlito Galvez) recommending the extension of martial law in Mindanao for one year," Albayalde said in a TV interview on Wednesday.
Albayalde said the implementation of martial law improves peace and order in Mindanao through military and police operations.
"Crime volume dropped by 28,853 or 32.8 percent because of the implementation of martial law... because of the forces present there conducting target hardening measures, military operations, police operations, checkpoint operations... we have recorded a drop of 44.2 percent on index crimes. that includes murder, physical injuries, homicide cases," he explained.
He said they were able to recover almost 10,000 loose firearms and more tourists visited the province because they feel more secure.
Albayalde said they have not received any reports of abuses while martial law was in effect in Mindanao, only allegations from critics of the administration.
"That's one good thing. We haven't hear any or a single case of human rights violations 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 said.
According to Albayalde, a total of 674 personnel were charged with violations of human rights since the start of President Rodrigo Duterte's administration.
On a possibility of nationwide martial law, Albayalde said it is not possible since the president himself said he will not declare it.
"I really don't know if that will be possible because the president repeatedly said that he will not declare martial law nationwide. He has been saying that over and over again," he said. Ella Dionisio/DMS