The military is supporting Mayor Sara Duterte’s plan to ask her father, President Rodrigo Duterte, to exempt Davao City from the proclamation placing the entire Mindanao under Martial Law.
Speaking in yesterday’s AFP-PNP press briefing held at The Royal Mandaya Hotel, Capt. Jerry Lamosao, the spokesperson of 10th Infantry Division, said peace and security is the main responsibility of the local chief executive.
“With the past and present set up, Davao city’s peace situation reached the level wherein reputable organizations from other nations declared the city as one of the safest cities in the world,” Lamosao said.
He attributed it to the city’s peace and order plan, the presence of security forces, and people’s resiliency. However, he also said that the Martial Law helped Mindanaoans enjoy a relatively peaceful environment.
“We support the peace initiatives of the local chief executives. Davao City has become a benchmark for others to emulate in terms of peace and progress,” Lamosao said.
On the plan to exclude the city from Martial Law, he said it is a political move but with security implications.
“Let us just wait until the matter has been discussed by the Peace and Order Council. It will still go through a process and will be decided collectively and intelligently by our peace and order councils,” he added.
Also, Alex Roldan, the director of Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) XI, said the lifting of Martial law in Davao City “is a very good idea.”
“The city is facing the apprehension of investors that we are still under Martial Law so probably there is an uneasiness, he said. “It might affect the decision of the investors to come in.”
Earlier, Department of National Defense spokesman Arsenio Andolong said they recognize the concerns of Mayor Sara Duterte to exclude the city from martial rule.
“We value the wisdom and firsthand knowledge of our local executives of the prevailing security environment in their respective communities and we always take their observations and recommendations into consideration,” Andolong said.
He said the lifting of Martial Law in Mindanao is constantly being evaluated by the Defense Department and there are regular consultations with the AFP and PNP regarding this.
“We would like to lift Martial Law in Mindanao as soon as possible but this should only be done after a complete assessment and validation by the security sector and local governments before we recommend it to the President,” he added.
It can be recalled that Secretary Lorenzana told the Supreme Court in February of this year that he would recommend the lifting of Martial Law in Mindanao by July 1 if amendments to the existing Human Security Act were passed by the legislature.
“But it did not happen,” he said.