At midnight 31 December 2019, the Martial Law in Mindanao will end after two years and seven months or 953 days of effectivity.
Martial law was first declared on 23 May 2017, a day after the ISIS-affiliated Maute Group attacked Marawi with the objective of establishing a caliphate in Mindanao. It was extended from 24 July to 31 December 2017. Two other extensions were granted by Congress for the entire years of 2018 and 2019.
Upon the recommendation of the security sector the President has decided to allow martial law to lapse and not ask for another extension anymore.
The security sector believes that the objective of the martial law has been achieved. The rebellion in Marawi, Lanao del Sur and other areas in Mindanao have been effectively stopped. They are confident that they can maintain the current peace and order in Mindanao and that an attack similar in scale to Marawi cannot be waged by the remnants of the Mautes or by any other terrorist groups in the future.
I would like to thank Congress for approving the extension of martial law three times.
I would also like to thank the people of Mindanao for their whole-hearted support for martial law and their full cooperation during its implementation.
For those who have openly issued statements of support for the extension of martial law, let me assure you that the AFP will continue to safeguard the hard-earned peace and stability in the region. The present number of troops will remain as is wherever they are and will continue to collaborate with the LGUs to sustain peace and stability.
Lastly, I would like to commend the DOJ, DILG, as well as members of the AFP, PNP, NBI, PCG and other law enforcement agencies for their professional and excellent implementation of martial law in Mindanao.
I would also like to express my heartfelt appreciation to the SOLGEN for defending the declaration and extensions of martial law at the Supreme Court, and the latter for upholding the same.
May we all have a peaceful and prosperous 2020. Happy New Year!
Delfin N. Lorenzana
Secretary of National Defense