All Local Government Units (LGUs) in Mindanao as well as the national league of local governments support the extension of Martial Law in Mindanao, according to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
DILG Assistant Secretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said that all LGUs in Mindanao including the umbrella organization of all LGUs, the Union of Local Authorities in the Philippines (ULAP) have all expressed their support for the extension of Martial Law. “In fact, we have not heard of any local chief executive in Mindanao who opposes the extension of Martial Law,” he said.
“According to our elected local government officials, Martial Law in Mindanao has led to improved peace and order in their areas. Who are we to argue against that?,” said Malaya.
He also said that the extension of Martial Law is also timely because of the forthcoming mid-term elections where political rivalries are expected to be heated. “The extension will ensure an improved security climate especially in election hotspots,” he said.
The DILG Spokesperson cited the case of the Philippine Councilors League, the largest organization of local government officials in the country, which has passed a resolution in support of the extension of Martial Law. “We had a meeting with the officials of ULAP led by Albay Governor Al Francis Bichara and he said that they are 100% behind the recommendation of Sec. Eduardo M. Año on this matter,” he said.
PCL National Chairperson Danilo Dayanghirang said that the people of Mindanao are at peace with the implementation of Martial Law which is why declaring support to its third extension in Mindanao comes easy.
Dayanghirang, who is also Davao City Councilor, says that the implementation of Martial Law in Mindanao has paved the way to various developments in the island and points to the entities opposing its extension as "insignificant minority" who are just plain detractors of the current administration.
"They are just the insignificant minority who keep on attacking President Rodrigo Duterte and his administration. In reality, majority of the people in Mindanao are at peace with Martial Law," Dayanghirang says.
With Martial Law implemented, Dayanghirang explains, Mindanao has been experiencing growth in its economy and continuous decline of its crime rate.
"Practically, the economy is up and criminality is down. Infrastructures and investments are growing due to an improved peace and order situation in Mindanao. Politically, we are very stable as well," he says.
"Mindanao is booming. There are more flights going to its various provinces plus inter-province flights. The gross domestic product of Mindanao is higher than the national government," he adds.
He also says that the support for the extension resonates from a great number of councilors, especially, the ones in Mindanao who have articulated their resounding satisfaction over the affirmative results Martial Law have afforded the region.
"When we went around, we found out during our formal and informal discussions that the consensus of the general majority of councilors in Mindanao is that the people are safer because of the prevailing Martial Law in the region," Dayanghirang explains.
"There were no military abuses reported. Military personnel are courteous and respectful to civilians which is key to a more peaceful Mindanao," he adds.
The PCL National Chairperson shares that the proliferation of firearm-related violence was minimized due to efficient military management. This, according to him, will also be practical in the coming election season.
"The extension will be beneficial especially now that the 2019 Midterm election is fast approaching for it implements an intensified campaign against carrying firearms, hence, resulting to decrease of firearms in the streets and election-related violence," he says.