Baste supports ML exemption, backs Mayor Sara’s proposal

Davao City Vice Mayor Sebastian “Baste” Duterte favors the exemption of Davao City in the existing martial law proclamation in Mindanao.

Davao City Vice Mayor Sebastian “Baste” Duterte

“Tanaw nako kung mao nang gusto ni Mayor Sara (Duterte-Carpio), tanaw nako capable man siya of securing the city so dili man siya mu-propose ana, dili man niya na buhaton kung dili niya kaya,” the younger Duterte said in an interview with the media on Wednesday, July 10, at the Sangguniang Panglungsod.

The Vice Mayor said the 19th council is very willing to support the mayor.

Mayor Sara-Duterte-Carpio had said earlier she will request her father, President Rodrigo Duterte, to exempt Davao City from the coverage of martial law in Mindanao.

In justifying the proposal for exemption, Mayor Sara said the peace and order in Davao City now experienced by Dabawenyos with the martial law was already relished long before the same was declared in Mindanao. 

The idea of lifting the martial law came after the city mayor had discussions with various foreign investors during the Davao Investment Conference held late last month.

Breaking the ‘barrier’

It started with officials from the European ambassadors at the sidelines of the 2019 Davao Investment Conference (Davao ICon) requesting Mayor Sara to seek the exemption of Davao City from the coverage of Proclamation 216 or martial law in Mindanao. The envoys believed without the said “barrier”, investing in Davao City by foreign capital will be unhampered and the investor confidence high. That stimulus fanned the fire to exempt Davao from martial law. It has since been supported by the business sector particularly the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Indistry Inc., the Department of Interior and Local Government in the region and even the military. The common ground is that there is no compelling reason for martial law to continue to exist in Davao.

Proclamation No. 216 is the 2017 proclamation of martial law and suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in the whole of Mindanao was issued by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on May 23, 2017 after Marawi City was besieged by terrorists.

In December 2018, Congress approved a 12-month extension of martial law in the restive Mindanao region after President Rodrigo Duterte argued for maintaining tough security measures to stop Muslim extremists from regrouping. A joint legislative session voted 235-28 in favor of retaining military rule in Mindanao until the end of 2019, prolonging what was already the country’s longest period of martial law since the brutal 1970s era of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.


The existing martial law, said Duterte, have seriously affected the interests of foreign business people in investing in the city despite its title being “one of the safest cities in world.”

Other government officials including the Department of the Interior Local Government (DILG) 11 chief Alex Roldan have recently expressed support on the mayor’s request.

Roldan believes that the secury system of Davao City could take care of it’s own without any help of the martial law proclamation.