Mindanao natives react to martial law extension


by Jared Bray, ABS-CBN North America Bureau


SALT LAKE CITY — The Philippine Congress extended martial law in Mindanao on Saturday after President Rodrigo Duterte requested more time to dislodge Maute and Abu Sayyaf militants from their strongholds in Marawi City.

For Mindanao natives and Utah residents Dinah Olino and Sonia Aquino, keeping military rule in the southern part of Philippines was the right decision.

“The war is not over yet,” Olino said, “and I think the government still needs time to make sure that there will be peace in the area.”

Olino grew up in Iligan City, about 23 miles from Marawi. She believes martial law will also help the thousands of displaced people who now seek refuge in her hometown.

“There are a lot of displaced people that also need to be back to their hometown and to feel safe again, and I think it’s really needed,” she said. 

Aquino, who was born and raised in Davao, believes the extension should prevent terrorism from spreading into other parts of the region and says martial law has helped her relatives in Mindanao feel safe.

“They said there’s a lot of check points, and that’s about it. But the presence of the military doesn’t bother them at all. In fact, they feel more safe,” she said.

While critics of the extension fear Duterte may use martial law to form a dictatorship like that of former president Ferdinand Marcos, neither Olino nor Aquino believe that will be the case.

“It’s understandable that there’s fear there because of the previous martial law that happened before, but with Duterte, I really believe that he’s only after the welfare of the Filipino people,” Olino said.

Duterte declared martial law on May 23 after ISIS-linked insurgents invaded Marawi. The order was set to expire on Saturday due to a 60-day limit mandated by the 1987 Constitution.

The extension will keep Mindanao under military control until Dec. 31.

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  • Mario
    26 July 2017 at 4:25 am - Reply

    During the G20 Summit,Trump-Putin agreed peace in Syria, Trump has ended the Obama era CIA program of arming, anti-Assad jihadist rebel in Syria..I feel sorry for Prez Duterte, he will declare Martial Law in Mindanao,FOREVER. The Main Stream Media said Mindanao is the next Syria. The battle tested ISIS from Syria are moving-in to Mindanao,they have UNLIMITED funding from the Globalist, local ISIS recruit/trainee are getting 15K Pesos a month salary from the Maute ISIS,long war mean draining PH economy. Time for Duterte to meet Trump now, stop talking BS to America,you need American help. At all cost, America will never abandon Mindanao, it is where the biggest in the world Uranium mines reserve and never be given to the Chinese nor the Russian. In my opinion, It should be Trump-Duterte clean negotiation, it is easy for CIA to fund the local ISIS, as what they did in Syria. They will drain the PH economy on long war, selling arms to the PH military, then get the Uranium mine FREE later on,any way we don’t have the technology to mine it. More casualties from war on Filipino citizen is coming..