A Mindanao bishop on Wednesday expressed support for the Supreme Court’s decision upholding the constitutionality of President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to extend martial law in Mindanao for the third time, or until the end of this year.
“Mindanao needs martial law,” Ozamis Archbishop Martin Jumoad said.
“This is good for us here. Others may not understand us but if you live in Mindanao, then you will know why.”
Jumoad made his statement even as senatorial candidate Samira Gutoc said Wednesday the Supreme Court decision supporting the extension of martial law in Mindanao was a sad day for Mindanao, for the justice system and the fight for peace.
Voting 9-4, the Supreme Court declared as valid the extension of martial law in Mindanao until Dec. 31, 2019.
Gutoc said she was not surprised by the decision, but she condemned it. She said martial law has resulted in the disenfranchisement of the poor and powerless in Mindanao.
“A lot of us are fearful to even speak up in protest of martial law and we know there have been unresolved human rights violations,” she said.
Jumoad said the Mindanaoans trusted the members of the military and described them as professional in performing their tasks.
“We trust our men in the Armed Forces of the Philippines. We witness how professional they are in performing their work as peacekeepers,” Jumoad said.
“Our role now is to pray for the conversion of terrorists, and may the people of Mindanao, Muslims, Lumads, and Christians work for peace and harmony. Let us respect one another regardless of conviction.” PNA with Macon Ramos-Araneta