Davao City mayor and presidential daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio (PCOO photo)

Davao City – The City Peace and Order Council (CPOC) recently passed a resolution pushed by Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio urging President Rodrigo Duterte to exempt the city from Martial Law citing concerns from foreign investors and tourists.

Duterte-Carpio, who is also the CPOC chair, lobbied for the exclusion of Davao City from Martial law to attract more investors and tourists into the city considering that the city will be holding this month the Kadayawan Festival which attracts a lot of tourists.  

She said martial law needs only to be implemented in areas under military rule and where peace and order is unstable and not on the entire island of Mindanao.

Public Safety and Security Command Center (PSSCC) head Benito de Leon said the resolution, passed during the CPOC’s meeting last Wednesday, July 31, was based on recommendations from the Joint Task Force (TF) Haribon, an anti-terror unit under the Eastern Mindanao Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, which oversees security measures in both the city and nearby Island Garden City of Samal.

De Leon said that if the city is exempted from Martial law, Western countries would reconsider their travel advisories against the city.

“It would give a good impression for the people outside Davao City if the Martial law would be lifted,” he said.

De Leon said the security measures in the City are well in place and will remain even after the lifting of Martial law.

He added that the military doesn’t see any of the conditions in Davao City that would necessitate it to remain under Martial law.  

City Tourism and Operations Office (CTOO) head Generose Tecson said that the lifting of Martial law can have a positive impact on the city’s tourism as some European and American countries do not give travel insurance to tourists coming to a country under Martial law.

Recently, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon recommended the extension of Martial Law for one year in Mindanao citing continuing rebellion in the area. Last year, the previous Congress approved granted Duterte’s request for an extension of Martial law until the end of 2019.

If approved by Congress this will be the fourth extension of Martial law in Mindanao since it was first declared by the president in 2017.

Progressive groups, however, like the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) call for the lifting of Martial law for the entire Mindanao.  (Rommel F. Lopez)