By Aaron Recuenco
The Philippine National Police (PNP) will support another extension of Martial Law in Mindanao, citing what they claim to be a significant reduction in crime since it was implemented last year.
But national police chief Director General Oscar Albayalde was quick to clarify that Malacanang has not yet asked the PNP if it is supportive of another extension of the Martial Law.
“If they ask the opinion of the PNP, if ever that they will ask for the agency’s position, we will support the extension especially with the incoming elections mas maganda yan,” said Albayalde.
The six-month extension of the Martial Law rule in Mindanao is set to end next month. It was recalled that the entire Mindanao was placed under Martial Law following the attack of ISIS-inspired armed men in Marawi City in May last year.
While some senators are already expressing doubts on the necessity of Martial Law rule in Mindanao, Albayalde said it actually produced positive gains in terms of peace and order.
It was recalled that some critics also said that the Martial Law rule did not prevent the bombings in Mindanao and bomb attacks of some groups.
But citing PNP data, he said that from 8.79 crime rate in Mindanao in 2017, it went down to 5.92 from January to September this year.
“We can attribute that basically to the imposition of Martial Law. Martial Law actually just strengthened the peace and order operations like the checkpoints and military operations.
Albayalde also expressed doubts that there would be abuses, saying it did not happen at the span of the Martial Law in Mindanao. He said that most of Mindanao residents are even supportive of the Martial Law rule.