Martial Law in Mindanao will enter its third year today and a 10th Infantry Division officer credited the heightened security for the reported dwindling force of the New People’s Army.
Since the proclamation on May 23, 2017, 700 regular NPAs, 500 Militia ng Bayan and almost 7,000 underground mass organization members have already surrendered to units under the 10th ID.
Capt. Jerry Lamosao, the Public Affairs Office chief of the 10th ID, told reporters in yesterday’s AFP-PNP press conference held at Royal Mandaya Hotel, that they recorded no abuses committed by state forces while under martial rule.
“If there are some who will contest that then please submit your interviews and evidence,” he said, although he acknowledged that “maybe some are just afraid” to report.
Nevertheless, he said Martial Law was implemented mainly to prevent a repeat of the Marawi siege and to go against terrorist groups in Mindanao.
However, the military is adopting the same security playbook to address other threats, such as the NPA.
“With the two years now of the implementation, we have seen that it helped in preventing the terroristic plan of the CPP-NPA-NDF,” he added.
From January 2019 to date, there were 145 NPA regulars who surrendered to the different units of 10th ID, along with 81 MBs and 27 Sangay ng Partido sa Lokalidad (SPL) and 128 Underground Mass Organization members, and 10 left-leaning organization members.
He also said the NPAs surrendered 56 high-powered-firearms and 40 Low-powered firearms in the same period. Military offensives also resulted in the recovery of 92 high-powered firearms and 38 low-powered firearms, as well as 56 landmines and IEDs.
“So with the implementation of Martial Law, we are thankful to the general public for their support through information dissemination,” he said.
“While we have not received complaints and military abuses, our stakeholder engagement continues along with the delivery of basic services,” he further said.
Also, Maj. Jason Baria, the spokesperson of Police Regional Office XI, said they continue to monitor their personnel for any excesses. He also said they take each complaint and report on erring police officers very seriously.
“If ever, we have the Police Community Relations and they can also dial 888, which will cater to complaints,” Baria said.
“But as of now I have not received any information yet.”