Permanent curfew even after martial law

Members of the city council have institutionalized the implementation of curfew hours for minors here even after President Rodrigo Roa Duterte would order the lifting of the existing martial law in Mindanao.

During a regular session on Tuesday, council members passed on third and final reading the “Discipline Hour Ordinance” that primarily focuses on the enactment of a 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. curfew for those aged 18 years old and below.

“This is due to the upright effect of the prevailing martial law in Mindanao,” Vice Mayor Graham Nasser Dumama, concurrent city council presiding officer, said.

He stressed though that the new ordinance has yet to be signed by City Mayor Frances Cynthia Guiani–Sayadi.

“The important thing is that the edict has been approved in principle on our level,” the vice mayor said.

Currently, the city is imposing a 10:30 p.m. to 3:30 a.m. curfew hour for all residents.

Dumama noted that since the martial law implementation last May 23 due to the attack in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur, by militant groups that have pledged allegiance to ISIS, crime rate in Cotabato City has dropped by over 50 percent, the biggest decline in recent years.

Apart from isolated cases, residents here are enjoying a relative peaceful and orderly situation in the locality’s 37 villages.

“The martial law declaration has brought good not only to this city but also to the whole of Mindanao,” Dumama said.

Early on, Congress has granted the President’s request to extend martial law in Mindanao until the end of the year in a bid to quell the rebellion by ISIS-aligned fighters in the besieged city of Marawi. (Noel Punzalan/PNA)