Another Mindanao martial law extension needed to address terror groups: expert

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 30 2018 07:25 PM | Updated as of Aug 30 2018 08:19 PM

A police investigator (left) gathers evidence at the site of a bomb blast in Isulan town, Sultan Kudarat on the southern island of Mindanao on Wednesday. Philippine authorities were hunting on August 29 two men believed to have planted the explosives that killed two people, including a young girl, at a festival in the nation's south on Tuesday night. Stringer/AFP

MANILA- Extending martial law in Mindanao anew will help address the threat of terrorism in the southern Philippines, an expert said Thursday.

"I think the extension of martial law is needed just to focus on these [terror] groups," Rommel Banlaoi, chairman of the Philippine Institute for Peace, Violence and Terrorism Research told ANC.

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Malacañang earlier said it was considering extending military rule in the south in the wake of an explosion in Sultan Kudarat that killed at least 3 people.

The recent explosion, according to Banlaoi, was an example that despite the implementation of martial law, the military still "cannot prevent everything."

"Martial law alone cannot solve the problem..Martial law can address the military aspect of the problem," he said.

While military rule cannot fully quell terrorism, Banlaoi said he still considers its implementation to be effective.

"In one aspect, I consider the implementation of martial law in Mindanao as effective in terms of deterring some plans of threat groups to mount terrorist attacks in various places in Mindanao," he said.

Mindanao was first placed under military rule by President Rodrigo Duterte in May 2017 at the start of the Marawi siege.

He later cited a lingering terror threat in the southernmost island as well as theinsurgency of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) as reasons for seeking the extension of martial law until the end of 2018.

House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Thursday said she will support the President if he would seek another extension of martial law in Mindanao.