MANILA, Philippines- Days following the Congress’ approval of martial law extension in Mindanao, several Mindanao business groups have expressed their support for the military rule.
Mindanao Business Council Chairman Vicente Lao recognized the need for it. According to him, martial law implementation in Mindanao might be the only way President Rodrigo Duterte can solve the crisis. He stressed that martial law implementation in the region is entirely different from the martial law during Marcos regime.
“There is the stigma when you talk about martial law. But you know martial law might be the only solution and the only legal basis and tools for the president to really solve this international crisis that we are facing in Mindanao. You know the martial law that we are experiencing in Mindanao is totally different from the martial law of the Marcos era. We have not seen abuses done,” he told ANC.
AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes, who recently offered direct flights between Kuala Lumpur and Davao City, isn’t afraid of putting more investments in the region. Mindanao recently got a significant vote of confidence from the low-cost carrier.
“I believe it’s important for us. It’s our civil duty and tourists will come. People are brave. People go to Pyongyang,” Fernandes said.
Based on the report by ANC, martial law has no significant effect on the country’s economic aspect. In fact, there are no cancellations of investment yet since it was implemented. Still, there are many foreign investors who are cautious about putting business in the region.
On Saturday, July 25, the Congress voted to extend martial law in Mindanao until the end of the year. A total of 261 members of the Congress (245 from the lower House, 16 from Senate) voted in favor of the extension.
“The result of the voting in Congress show that 261 in the affirmative and 18 in the negative. The motion to extend proclamation of martial law and the suspension of the privilege of writ of habeas corpus is hereby approved by the Congress,” Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said as he read the tally.