By Aaron Recuenco
Martial law should still be implemented in some areas in Mindanao, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said, citing the continuous peace and order problems in the past months.
The martial law rule in the entire Mindanao is set to lapse on December 31, 2019, and some government security officials want it lifted.
But Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa, PNP officer-in-charge, said that while he agrees that martial law is unnecessary in most areas in Mindanao, there are still places where it is needed.
“In almost all possibilities, we are for the discontinuance, except on other areas na merong assessment na malakas pa rin ang terrorism (where our assessment shows terrorism remains deeply rooted),” said Gamboa.
The official would not say what areas but the usual problematic areas in Mindanao are Basilan, Sulu, and some parts of Central Mindanao.
In Sulu for instance, military camps have been targeted in the past few months for suicide bombings.
Gamboa said they are currently conducting assessment in Mindanao to identify the areas where there is no more need for Martial Law.
He said he had already instructed the Directorate for Intelligence to submit its assessment on the security situation in Mindanao by Friday this week.
“There is still an ongoing assessment but its implementation may be selective,” said Gamboa.
Once the assessment is done, Gamboa said that they could come up with the areas and the time frame as to how long would another Martial Law extension would be implemented.
Martial law was declared in Mindanao a few days after the Maute Group laid siege on Marawi City in May 2017. Its implementation was extended and is set to end again next month.