RPOC-9 backs martial law, national ID system


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ZAMBOANGA CITY, June 8 — The Regional Peace and Order Council-9 (RPOC-9) has approved a resolution expressing strong support to the declaration of Martial Law here in Mindanao citing its impact in the fight against terrorism and other forms of lawlessness.

Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar, RPOC-9 chairperson, said the resolution was approved during RPOC-9’s second quarter meeting held on Wednesday afternoon in this city.

Salazar said in a statement that the RPOC members believe the Mindanao-wide declaration of martial law last May 23, following the outbreak of the Marawi City conflict, will help address security concerns in this part of the country.

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The conflict started when members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)-inspired Maute group went on rampage after government troops raided the hideout of Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon.

Hapilon, who was previously based in Basilan province, is being protected by the Maute group.

As a result of the continuing Marawi conflict and the subsequent martial law declaration, alert level has been raised in all parts of the country particularly Mindanao through stepped-up security measures.

At the same time, Salazar said the Council unanimously approved a resolution expressing support to the proposed national identification (ID) system and nationwide mandatory registration of prepaid subscriber identification module (SIM) cards.

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SIM cards are even peddled at lower prices in sidewalks unregulated aside from being sold in retailer and other authorized outlets.

Salazar said the RPOC also believes that the national ID system as well as the SIM card registration being pushed by lawmakers would also be a deterrent to all forms of lawlessness specifically terrorism.

The proposed ID system will consolidate all government-issued IDs into one to improve government services and limit red tape in government transactions.

On the other hand, the proposed mandatory registration of SIM cards is intended to address mobile phone-aided terrorism and criminal activities.

Updates on the anti-insurgency campaign, the peace and order situation and the anti-illegal drugs situation here in Region 9 were also discussed during the second quarter meeting of the RPOC-9. (TPGJR/PNA)

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