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‘Crime volume drops under martial law’

WITH martial law in effect, the crime volume in Mindanao had dropped, a Philippine National Police (PNP) report said on Tuesday.

The difference in crime volume before and during martial law implementation was a staggering 151,994 or 47.89 percent. From July 2017 to May 2019, there were 165,386 crime incidences. On the other hand, from February 2015 to April 2017, the crime cases were 317,380.

Martial law took effect May 23, 2017 after Islamic state linked “Maute” group sieged Marawi City.

President Rodrigo Duterte requested extensions of martial law thrice. The recent extension expires on December 31 this year.

PNP chief General Oscar Albayalde said there was no indication of martial law extension despite the two consecutive bombings over the weekend.

“Well sa ngayon hindi pa naman napaguusapan ‘yan wala pa namang indication kung papa-extend ulit yung martial law sa Mindanao (For now, we haven’t talked if we would extend martial law in Mindanao),” Albayalde told the reporters in a press briefing.

On Saturday morning, an alleged improvised explosive device (IED) exploded at a public market in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat.

The next day, a suicide bombing occurred in Indanan, Sulu, wherein the suspect was confirmed to be a woman.

The PNP believed more terrorist acts would transpire without martial law in effect.

“Kung wala itong martial law maaaring may posibilidad na mas maraming insidente na terrorist attack, pero dahil sa pinairal na martial law nalimitihan natin ang mga insidenteng ito at yung movement ng terrorists (If there is no martial law, more terrorist attacks will occur. With martial law, it will limit these incidents, as well as the movements of terrorists),” PNP spokesman Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac told reporters in a press briefing.

Terrorists still managed to do bombings despite the implementation of martial law in the entire Mindanao, but Banac said martial law actually limited the movement of terrorists.

“Dito sa bahagi ng Mindanao dahil sa martial law napakalaking bagay na nalilimitahan natin ang movement and proliferation of loose firearms [In Mindanao, because of martial law, we are limiting the movement and proliferation of loose firearms],” Banac said.

“Napababa pa natin lalo pa ang bilang ng crime incidence, mas madali natin silang matukoy dahil sa mahigpit na security measures (Crime incidence now in Mindanao is low, we can easily identify the them due to our tight security measures),” Banac added.

Banac also said there was no link between the suicide bombing in Indanan, Sulu and the blast in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat.

“Magkalayo ang lugar na yun magkahiwalay sila magkalayo ng lugar, walang koneskyon [The two places are not close to each other, no connection],” Banac said.

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