DAVAO CITY — Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go said Saturday President Rodrigo Duterte was still studying the proposed exemption of this city from martial law in view of security concerns.
“I cannot speak in behalf of the President, but he is concerned that the terrorists might run and hide here in Mindanao,” he said.
Last Tuesday, Councilor Mabel Acosta, peace and public safety committee chairperson, filed a resolution requesting President Duterte to exempt the city from the coverage of the island-wide martial law.
Mayor Sara Duterte announced during the 5th Davao Investment Conference (ICon) in June her intention to ask for the lifting of martial law following her dialogue with ambassadors and officials of other countries who attended the event.
Go, who visited fire and monsoon wave victims here, said he supported
the stand of Mayor Sara, knowing that this city is a very peaceful
place to live in.
However, he said the decision whether to lift martial law here was still in the hands of the President based on the recommendation of the military, intelligence authorities, and the Department of National Defense.
“As a Dabawenyo, I witness how peaceful the city is but I also understand the position of the national government on this issue,” said Go.
Go said the military presence in Mindanao was meant to not only protect the island from terrorists but also to deter them from coming in.
“The good thing is that, our military was not involved in any abuse and the Mindanaoans know that,” he stressed.
President Duterte declared martial law in the entire Mindanao on May 23, 2017 amid the siege of Marawi City by Islamic State-inspired terrorists. (PNA)