MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) supports extending martial law in Mindanao, its chief Director General Oscar Albayalde announced on Monday, November 5.
"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 (That's better)," Albayalde said in a press conference.
Why does this matter? The recommendation of the police and military on martial law extension is already being sought by President Rodrigo Duterte before he decides to ask for another extension.
Military rule has been in effect in the island region since May 2017, and after two extension requests approved by Congress and upheld by the Supreme Court, it is set to expire on December 31.
PNP's proof: Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana earlier told reporters that the police and military have the entire November to monitor threats and ask Mindanaoans for their view on prolonging military rule.
It appears that the PNP had already completed its own probe into Mindanao. Aside from the upcoming elections as a reason, during the briefing, Albayalde said in Filipino, "We got information, not on an actual survey, but based on the public, they want martial law in Mindanao."
Concerns about an extension: Lorenzana himself earlier flagged martial law as an "extreme measure" that should not be conditioned as necessary for the safety of Mindanaoans.
"It's because martial law is like the last, the extreme measure that the government uses. I think it should not be used lightly if we don't need to use it," Lorenzana said during a House of Representatives budget briefing of his department last August. – Rappler.com
Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.