Bishop backs lifting martial law in some parts of Mindanao

Archbishop Martin Jumoad of Ozamiz says military rule only needed in areas where peace and order are 'unstable'
Bishop backs lifting martial law in some parts of Mindanao

Archbishop Martin Jumoad of Ozamiz is supporting calls by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s daughter to lift martial law in some parts of Mindanao. (Photo by Maria Tan)

A Catholic bishop in the southern Philippines has joined calls made by President Rodrigo Duterte’s daughter to lift martial law in some parts of Mindanao.

Archbishop Martin Jumoad of Ozamiz said martial law should only be imposed in areas where peace and order are at serious risk.

The prelate made the call following a statement made by Sara Duterte, mayor of Davao who asked her father to lift martial law in her city.

She said Davao has "relatively stable peace" following the imposition of martial law in 2017.

President Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao on May 23, 2017, after Islamic State-inspired gunmen attacked the city of Marawi resulting in a five-month siege.

The Philippine Congress has since extended martial law three times in the past two years due to reported violence in the southern region.

"I go with the idea of Mayor Sarah Duterte," said Archbishop Jumoad, adding that military rule should be lifted except in provinces where peace and order are "unstable."

The prelate said the military knows where martial law is needed.

Archbishop Jumoad was one of several church leaders who supported the extension of martial law in Mindanao until the end of this year.

"Mindanao needs martial law. This is good for us here," the prelate said previously. He said only those who live in Mindanao will understand the need for military rule.

"Others may not understand us but if you live in Mindanao then your eyes will be opened," he said.

The military earlier said it was open to lifting martial law in Davao City depending on the assessment of the government.

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