Tuesday, July 18, 2017



Golez: AFP & CIC PRRD fought well vs. Maute. Why extend so long? "Rody wants ML extended until Dec.31" @PhilstarNews @inquiterdotnet https://t.co/vGim9tZRQo
From the beginning, I gave full support to martial law in Mindanao and expected swift solution to the crisis. I had that much confidence in the AFP and the AFP performed as expected.
A martial law extension beyond the first sixty days would indicate to the world that much work remains in spite of the massive, successful AFP counteroffensive. The world will decide on our ability to solve our problems. A long extension will not reflect well on the nation's ability to solve a crisis. If martial is allowed to lapse without extension and the President announces during SONA next Monday that the Marawi crisis has ended and what is left is ordinary mop up and police operations against the remnants of the Maute, the nation and the world would hail and applaud the President and the AFP as effective and decisive crisis administrators and that would be good for the nation. 
Marawi and Mindanao would be back to normal in the eyes of the world. Investments would pour back in while the reconstruction process starts. With martial law over, the government can focus on its Build, Build, Build program, look good in the eyes of the world, and that would trigger more investments, foreign and domestic. The government can also concentrate more energy and good will in preparation for the typhoon season (we don't know what disasters await us in the coming months so we need to brace ourselves against the onslaught of nature). The AFP is at the vanguard of humanitarian action and disaster relief.
A long extension means uncertainty, the big enemy of investments. Mindanao is a resilient region as shown by the fact that while big crises have hit it over the decades from the Kamlon rebellion of the 50s to the MNLF, MILF crises of the recent past, Mindanao has remained one of the fast developing regions of the country as evidenced by the rise of modern communities that used to be in the backwoods in the 70s and 80s (I know because I visited them the 70s and 80s): Davao City, Cagayan de Oro City, Butuan, Kidapawan, Koronadal, General Santos, Pagadian, Ozamiz, Iligan, Ipil, and many more. Investments poured in in those rising cities that enabled them to catch up with or even overtake the older cities like Cotabato and Zamboanga. And the principal reason was government projected the ability to address serious security and peace and order concerns with methodical, forceful action without declaring martial law except once for a very short duration.
The President must balance his peace and order drive with the need to accelerate investments and development. He only has around five years left and every month counts now.
The world is watching. That is one of the guiding principles in crisis management templates. No country is immune to crisis, but it is tested by its ability to bounce back to normalcy as soon as possible and that ability to restore normalcy is viewed as a positive sign by the world. That's how the world would view PRRD, the AFP and the rest of the government if martial law is terminated now and AFP operations continued without martial law extended. PRRD's ratings would soar.
But a long extension would mean uncertainty and tentativeness for the next five months that could offset the investment timetable not only for Mindanao but the rest of the country. 
Those are my two cents worth as I continue to dream big for the country. INQUIRER.net philstar.com.

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