(Eagle News) — The Department of the Interior and Local Government is backing the recommendation not to extend martial law any further in Mindanao.
In a statement, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said the agency concurs with the Department of National Defense “that the purpose of martial law has been attained..”
He said based on the assessment of military and police forces, “normalcy has returned” to the entire region, and the peace and order situation has “remarkably improved” since the Marawi siege in 2017.
He was referring to when Maute terrorists overran the city in a reported bid to establish an Islamic caliphate in Southeast Asia, prompting the government to impose martial law in the island group.
According to Año, military forces have also “significantly degraded” the forces of local terrorists in the area.
“Our local government units, through their respective local peace and order councils from the regional down to the barangay level, are also now more engaged and are actively working with their counterparts in the security sector to carry out peace and security measures in Mindanao,” he said.
He added if martial law was not extended, more tourists and potential investors would arrive in the region.
It was Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana who said he had recommended in a letter to President Rodrigo Duterte the non-extension of martial law in the island group.
Martial law in Mindanao was extended several times since it was imposed after the Marawi siege.