Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Sec. Eduardo Año is supporting Department of National Defense (DND) Sec. Delfin Lorenzana’s recommendation to President Rodrigo Duterte not to extend the declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao after it expires on December 31 this year.

“We concur with the DND that the purpose of Martial Law has been attained based on the assessment of military and police forces as normalcy has returned to the entire region and the peace and order situation in the area has remarkably improved since the Marawi Siege of 2017,” Año said in a statement.

He noted how the military and police forces have “significantly degraded the forces and capabilities of terrorist groups” namely three guerilla fronts, three Pulang Bagani commands of the CPP-NPA-NDF and the Maute group who cannot launch a Maute type of attack since Martial Law was declared in Mindanao.

“In fact, there is a 30% drop in crime in the BARMM alone,” Año, a former AFP Chief, said.

Año added that local government units down to the barangay level “are also now more engaged” and are actively working with their counterparts in the security sector to carry out peace and security measures in Mindanao. In fact, there is a 30% drop in crime in the BARMM alone.

He also believes that the lifting of Martial law will be good for the local economy as it will “signal the full return to normalcy and the end to perceived security risks of investing and travelling to Mindanao.”

“The lifting of Martial Law would definitely bring in more local and foreign investments and increase tourist arrivals in the region,” he said.

Año assured that public that even without Martial Law, the PNP and AFP is prepared “to protect Mindanaoeños from any possible threat from extremists and Communist terrorists.” (Rommel F. Lopez)