Trust Duterte on martial law extension, business leader says

Trishia Billones, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 19 2017 02:32 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte gestures during a turnover ceremony of procured pistols for the Armed Forces of the Philippines in Malacanang. Dondi Tawatao, Reuters

MANILA - While investors prefer a “shorter” martial law period in Mindanao, they should trust President Rodrigo Duterte on whether or not it should be extended, a business leader said Wednesday.

Duterte has called for a special session of Congress on Saturday to discuss prolonging the 60-day martial rule, which he declared due to fighting between government troops and Islamic State-inspired extremists in Marawi City.

Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said Tuesday the President wanted to extend martial law until the end of the year.

“Many of us believe na sana the shorter the better, saka no expansion but I think we don’t have enough information to be able to determine, I’d rather trust the President on this because he is the one who knows the situation,” Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry honorary chairman Sergio Ortiz-Luis said.

“Certainly there will be some people, some investors who might think it’s too long, but nevertheless we have to bite the bullet… if we really want to have an end of this,” he told ABS-CBN News.

Extending martial rule will have "minimal" impact on investor sentiment, BPI Securities research head Haj Naravez told ANC's Market Edge with Cathy Yang.

"It might be something that a few select investors are concerned about, majority are focusing more on other issues," Narvaez said.

Investors are also looking at the business process outsourcing sector and the current account deficit aside from the fighting in Mindanao, he said.