Robredo: No to martial law extension in Mindanao
MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo is against the proposal of Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea to possibly extend martial law in Mindanao for the 3rd time after the deadly bombing in Sultan Kudarat.
Robredo, who has taken on the role of opposition leader against President Rodrigo Duterte, said martial law in Mindanao has so far been "ineffective" in reducing violence in the region.
"Ito kasi, mayroong martial law sa Mindanao, pero nakita natin over the past months, hindi ito nagiging hadlang para iyong karahasan ma-prevent. Nagkaroon tayo ng bombing sa Lamitan, ito na namang sa Sultan Kudarat kahapon. Patuloy pa rin – patuloy pa rin iyong mga terrorist activities na nangyayari," said the Vice President in a chance interview at the House of Representatives on Wednesday, August 29.
(We have martial law in Mindanao, but we have seen over the past months that it did not prevent violence. We had a bombing in Lamitan, then we had another one in Sultan Kudarat yesterday. The terrorist activities continued.)
"So ano iyong assurance natin na kapag in-extend ang martial law, talagang mape-prevent ito kasi ito naman iyong sadya ng martial law, 'di ba?" she added.
(So where's our assurance that if we extend martial law, it would prevent violence in Mindanao, since that is the point of martial law, right?)
Medialdea floated the option of extending martial law in Mindanao after a bomb explosion in Isulan town killed at least two people and wounded 37 others on Tuesday, August 28. It happened while the town was celebrating its Hamungaya Festival, and while Mindanao remains under martial law.
In July, a blast near a Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit detachment in Lamitan City, Basilan, killed 11 people. The military attributed it to the Abu Sayyaf.
Medialdea said he would "not necessarily" recommend another martial law extension, but it is an option being considered since the recent bombing is a worrisome development.
The entire region of Mindanao is currently under martial law until December 31 this year. If martial law is again extended, it would be the 3rd extension since Duterte first proclaimed martial law in the region on May 23, 2017, due to the Marawi siege.
Unlike Robredo, Philippine National Police chief Director General Oscar Albayalde is open to Malacañang's proposal to extend martial law in Mindanao. – Rappler.com