DAVAO CITY – Government officials in Davao Region on Friday welcomed the extension of martial law in Mindanao, saying it would help sustain the gains in the local governments’ peace and development initiatives.

Compostela Valley Governor Jayvee Tyron Uy noted that since martial law was declared in Mindanao last year, crime rate has gone down in the province while it encouraged the surrender of New People’s Army (NPA) rebels.

The stable peace and order situation, Uy said, has created a climate conducive for business and investments.

“We attributed this success to enhanced security measures implemented due to martial law declaration,” Uy said in a statement released by the Provincial Information Office.

“Keeping peace is not an easy business. It requires no less than the unity of vision and coherence in every action,” Uy added.

Davao del Norte (2nd District)  Rep. Antonio “Tonyboy” Floirendo Jr. said he fully supports the extension of martial law in Mindanao, saying it has helped put a stop to "the proliferation of lawless elements" on the island.

“It is high time, an opportunity, for our security forces, local government units and the people to unite and stop the plague of terrorism from spreading like wildfire,” Floirendo said.

According to Floirendo, martial law would ensure the growth of the communities including industries, especially that the government's “Build, Build, Build" program is making headway in Mindanao.

He said martial law will generate "infrastructure projects in the provinces like roads, bridges, seaports and a train system, not to mention the rehabilitation of Marawi City."

In an earlier statement, Davao Occidental Governor Claude Bautista said an extension of martial in Mindanao was a positive move for the government to keep track of bad elements "who are just lying low,  waiting for the right timing to make another strike."

Bautista said martial law resulted in the remarkable decline in recorded crimes in the province, including drug-related cases.

“With the continued implementation of martial law, peace and development will be sustained for the coming years not only in my province but also the rest of the provinces in Mindanao,” Bautista said.

In a joint session on Wednesday, members of the House of Representatives and the Senate approved the extension of martial law in Mindanao and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus until December 31, 2019.

In another joint session in December last year, the Senate and House of Representatives granted the Chief Executive's request for the extension of martial law and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus until Dec. 31, 2018. (Lilian C Mellejor/PNA)