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AFP to start martial law assessment ‘next week’

By Prince Golez

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will commence its assessment of the operation of martial law in Mindanao “next week,” according to Chief of Staff General Carlito Galvez Jr.

“Next week, we will start the assessment with the visitation of EastMinCom and WestMinCom. So we have already asked some religious and also some of the (local government units) but we need to know, we need to assess further considering that the assessment will be coming from AFP should be jointly with the PNP (Philippine National Police),” Galvez said in a press briefing in Malacanang on Thursday.

The AFP official also cited three indications that the declaration of martial law in Mindanao should be extended.

“Well yung isang indication na sinasabi ng mga tao satin, especially dun sa areas na nakitang conflicted areas, is the threshold ng elections. During elections, for the first time, Marawi, there is no single violent incident happened and there is no failure of elections in all the 24 barangays. Samely that the Comelec, the AFP and the PNP also concluded that the barangay elections and the SK elections this 2019 is one of the most peaceful and they declared it as the most peaceful in the sense that there is no declaration again of failure,” he said.

Galvez said the implementation of martial law, which was declared by President Rodrigo Duterte in May 2017 following the war between government troops and Maute group in Marawi City, has driven economic activity in the region.

“Second the business establishments also said that in Davao, I believe, we have an increase in GDP growth of 10 (percent) and also in GenSan 8 (percent). So there’s a growing trend in the business sectors, especially in Cagayan de Oro, GenSan, and also even in Iligan. There is a commiserate correlational increase of business activity because of the seemingly relative peaceful condition in the area,” according to him.

He added that the possible extension of martial law also has the support of religious and political in the area.

“Last week, Archbishop Martin Jumoad who is one of the very vocal archbishops who also happened to be the bishop of Basilan, he also supported the extension of the martial law because of the good implementation of the AFP and the PNP of the martial law. Including Senator (Sherwin) Gatchalian also supporting it and most of the congressmen living in Mindanao are also supporting this,” Galvez said.

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