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Garbin: End of martial law in Mindanao a ‘wise, compassionate decision’ but…

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Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Alfredo Garbin Jr. praised the government’s move to end martial law in Mindanao in December 2019, calling it a “wise and compassionate decision from President Rodrigo Duterte.”

“But I ask the President to please wipe out all the warlords, the private armies, and the small pockets of terrorist elements that hide in some corners of Mindanao,” he said in a statement.

Garbin cited Article VII Section 18 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution, stating that “the President shall be the Commander-in-Chief of all armed forces of the Philippines and whenever it becomes necessary, he may call out such armed forces to prevent or suppress lawless violence, invasion or rebellion.”

“It is time to end the proliferation of guns and explosives in Mindanao. Please end this scourge that keeps Mindanao’s economy from taking off,” Garbin said.

On Tuesday, Duterte’s spokesperson announced that he would no longer extend martial law in Mindanao.

“The Office of the President wishes to announce that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte will not extend martial law in Mindanao upon its expiration on December 31, 2019,” Salvador Panelo told a Malacañang briefing.

Duterte “made the decision following the assessment of his security and defense advisers of the weakening of the terrorist and extremist rebellion, a result of the capture or neutralization of their leaders, as well as the decrease in the crime index, among the factors considered,” the Palace official said.

“Contrary to the suppositions of the vocal minority on the proclamation of martial law in Mindanao, this decision of the President shows how he responds to the situation on the ground,” Panelo said said.