TUBA TASTE TEST. Maguindanao Rep. Zajid Mangudadatu pours 'tuba' (local wine extracted from coconut tree) to A glass container during the 10th "Oktubafest" local wine tasting event in Tacloban on Friday (October 26, 2018). (Photo from FB page of Rep. Zajid Mangudadatu)
TACLOBAN CITY -- Maguindanao Rep. Zajid Mangudadatu of 2nd District has expressed support to the extension of martial law in Mindanao in the bid to recover all loose firearms.
Mangudadatu, who was here Friday to join the local wine tasting event of “Oktubafest”, said the government has to enforce martial law for another one to two years to achieve lasting peace in Mindanao.
“One to two years is enough to recover all loose firearms and disband private armies. I believe there are still a lot of unlicensed firearms in Mindanao because it is a culture of our Muslim brothers to own guns,” the congressman said.
Earlier, Malacañang said it would depend on the recommendation of the Armed Forces of the Philippines whether or not martial law will be extended after the end of the year.
Martial law in Mindanao was declared on May 23, 2017 following attacks launched by the Maute Group in Marawi City.
Congress, in a special joint session in July last year, granted the extension of martial law until Dec. 31, 2017 at the President's request.
The Senate and House of Representatives, convening in a joint session early December, then granted Duterte's request for the extension of martial law and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus for a period of one year from January 1 to December 31, 2018.
Meanwhile, Mangudadatu, admitted that it will be tough for a Filipino Muslim to win a Senate seat, but he’s not discouraged to hold a nationwide campaign despite not being in the top 12 picks for Senate in 2019.
“I don’t believe in surveys. We have to talk to local officials and grassroots to let them know about our platform. No one is a sure winner in every election. There are always losers and winners,” he said.
“As a Muslim Filipino, my call is for us to be united. I want to change the impression of our Christian brothers and sisters about Muslims. We should not have segregation. We only have one government," he added.
Running under the ruling PDP-Laban Party, Mangudadatu will try to be the first Muslim to win a Senate seat after Santanina Rasul, who served as senator from 1987 to 1995. (PNA)