RPOC Mindanao supports Martial Law extension PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 09 December 2017 16:34

The Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC)-Mindanao cluster has approved a resolution expressing support to the extension of martial law in Mindanao in a bid to thwart violent extremism through convergence of security forces and local government units (LGUs) and to counter violence and atrocities perpetrated by communist rebels.

 

Mayor Beng Climaco, RPOC-9 Chair authored the resolution during the meeting of the RPOC-Mindanao Cluster in Quezon City Thursday with Local Government Undersecretary Eduardo Año presiding the forum.

The RPOCs in Mindanao support the extension of martial law in the island with emphasis on the close collaboration of all security forces, including the Bureau of Customs (BOC), the Bureau of Immigration (BI), the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), and LGUs in foiling violent extremism and countering the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)- New People’s Army (NPA).

The RPOC officials are one in saying that the declaration of Martial law in Mindanao has proven to be effective in quelling rebellion in the region and ensuring the return of peace and order in Marawi City, as well as lowering crimes rates in various LGUs in the area.

The declaration of martial law in Mindanao by President Rodrigo Duterte took effect May 24, 2017, a day after rebels pledging allegiance to the International network of Islamic State laid siege in Marawi City. The siege lasted for over 5 months, as the president declared liberation of Marawi on October 17, 2017.

The RPOC officials observe that despite “effective government measures, various terrorist elements remain resilient and may attempt to replicate the Marawi siege in other cities or areas in Mindanao”. They also emphasized that the international terrorist group Islamic State still views the Philippines as a prospective area of operation in the city and that sympathetic local terrorist groups such as the BIFF and Maguid Group are expected to conduct attacks or may even seize territory.

Last December 5, President Duterte declared the CPP=NPA as an entity designated and or identified as a terrorist organization pursuant to Republic Act 10168 otherwise known as the Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012.

“Threat of terrorist attacks remain and may even spread to Davao City or Metro Manila, the RPOC officials added. (Sheila Covarrubias)