Martial law extension ok only in parts of Mindanao: prelate

MANILA -- Marawi Bishop Edwin dela Pena is in favor of extending martial law in Mindanao but only in areas where tensions are reported.

For me, it is unwise to put the whole of Mindanao under martial law but specifically in areas where there is tension, the Catholic prelate said in an interview aired over Church-run Radio Veritas Thursday.

Dela Pena said since the war-torn city is undergoing rehabilitation, some kind of control has to be put in place.

Perhaps not for the whole of Mindanao. Probably we can understand if it is extended in specific areas. Marawi perhaps I don't want to speak for the whole of Marawi, but I feel that in the process of rehabilitation of Marawi, some kind of control has to be also put in place, he said in a separate interview.

Cotabato, perhaps. That is where the attack is being launched, he said when asked what other areas in Mindanao need an extension of martial law.

The Marawi prelate said that the rest of Mindanao is safe.

The National Youth Day was held in Zamboanga. Perhaps some dioceses did not send delegations because of what happened in Mindanao, specifically from Luzon. They feel like if something happened to one part of Mindanao, they think the whole of Mindanao is at war. That is not true. Zamboanga is very peaceful Davao is safe, Cagayan de Oro is safe, Gensan is safe, he said.

President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao when war between government forces and terrorists linked to the Maute group broke out on May 23.

Last Oct. 23, the Chief Executive declared Marawi City free from the hands of the Maute group following the death of terrorist leaders Omar Maute and Isnilon Hapilon.

Source: Philippine News Agency