Trade chief: Investors wary of Marawi crisis, not martial law

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 22 2017 04:00 PM

MANILA- Investors are only wary of the ongoing siege in Marawi City but not the implementation of martial law in Mindanao, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez told Congress Saturday.

"It’s not martial law that they (investors) are concerned about, it’s terrorism, the presence of terrorism. And to them, martial law provides that comfort level," Lopez said when asked about the economic impact of extending martial law in Mindanao until yearend during the joint session of Congress.

Congress convened in a joint session Saturday to decide on President Rodrigo Duterte's request to extend martial law in Mindanao until the end of the year.

Earlier this week, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia made the assurance that martial law has not disrupted business in Mindanao.

Some businessmen expressed a similar view on military rule, which Duterte imposed on May 23 due to fighting between government troops and Islamic State-inspired extremists in Marawi City. 

Lopez explained that if there are concerns among investors, these are mainly due to the ongoing conflict in Marawi.

"Kung meron mang pag-aalinlangan ang ibang tourism at ibang investors, it’s really the Marawi issue and not martial law," he said at the joint session.

"In fact, they view martial law po as really giving extra protection. It’s making the environment safer. That’s the feeling of the business sector and even of the investors that we are talking to," he added.