By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Both Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon, Jr. and Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson back the extension of Martial Law in Mindanao amid the ongoing war against the Islamic State-backed Maute terror group.
Marañon said Martial Law is necessary in Mindanao because of the current situation and is praying the conflict ends soon, claiming it is affecting the nation’s economy.
“Several people, especially ordinary residents who are collateral damage, have been affected,” Marañon said. “They need to sacrifice and leave their houses because of the war.”
When asked about allegations of human rights violations, Marañon said the Maute group are the ones committing human rights violations as they have been beheading their hostages.
The governor believes there have been no violations committed by the government, saying they are careful to protect the civilians.
“If the government doesn’t care about human rights violations, bombings could be anywhere in Marawi,” he pointed out.
Lacson, meanwhile, said he would also like to see an extension.
“If the president feels he needs more time for, what he calls, the clear-up operation, then so be it,” he said.
Lacson added, the Islamic State is a serious threat and he hopes the government is able to cleanse Mindanao of terrorists.
Earlier, Duterte asked the House of Representatives to extend Martial Law in Mindanao until December 31, 2017.
Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the president proposed to Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez to continue the policy in the region for over five more months because the “looming situation in Mindanao” has to be addressed./DGB, WDJ