MANILA - Martial law did not disrupt business in Mindanao, one of President Rodrigo Duterte's economic managers said Tuesday, as he sought to extend it until the end of the year.
Some businessmen expressed a similar view on military rule, which was imposed on May 23 due to fighting between government troops and Islamic State-inspired extremists in Marawi City. The violence has so far left 500 people killed.
"I think there’s no consequential disruption of businesses in Mindanao, life seems to be going quite normal," said Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia.
Duterte has called for a special session of Congress on Saturday to discuss the martial law extension. Under the Constitution, his declaration is effective for 60 days unless prolonged by lawmakers.
"I think the extension is needed for more time to flush out the rebels with minimum casualties on both soldiers and citizens held hostage," said George Barcelon, president of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
"We trust the assessment of the military adviser & decision of the president," Barcelon said.
Aboitiz Power president Antonio Moraza said extending martial law would have minimal impact on the company's operations.
"Martial law didn't effect as much but basically gives more confidence on security," Wilcon Depot chief operating officer Rosemarie Bosch Ong said.