Will Duterte extend martial law in Mindanao? Decision out soon

Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 06 2017 08:19 PM

Philippine Marines, backed by a V300 infantry fighting vehicle, cross Mapandi Bridge, a key area in the fighting in Marawi City, in this file photo. Froilan Gallardo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA- The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte its recommendation on the extension of martial law in Mindanao, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on Wednesday.

Lorenzana, however, refused to give details on the AFP recommendation, saying President Rodrigo Duterte still needs to see the recommendation of the Philippine National Police before deciding to extend military rule.

The President may reveal his decision within the week, he added.

“Ang sa amin naman, it’s more on the security aspect not only in Marawi, but the whole of Lanao Sur, Maguindanao, Basilan, Sulu, Tawi Tawi saka yun pang nangyayari sa Mindanao,” Lorenzana told reporters in MalacaƱang.

The defense chief added that the military took into consideration existing security conditions not only in Marawi City, but in other parts of Mindanao as well.

“Palagi namang may threats, not as intense as what happened in Marawi, but there are existing threats there: NPA, terrorism, BIFF, Abu Sayyaf group. Remember, with Abu Sayaff, they still have about 9 hostages with them,” he said.

The President will also take into account Task Force Bangon Marawi chief Eduardo del Rosario's suggestion to extend martial law in Mindanao to secure the rehabilitation period of Marawi, Lorenzana said.

“Personally, I would like martial law to continue during the rehabilitation phase because as chairman of Task Force Bangon Marawi, my main concern is the security of rehabilitation efforts,” Del Rosario previously said.

The Marawi siege had prompted Duterte to place the entire Mindanao under martial law on May 23. This was extended by Congress until the end of the year following the lapse of the 60-day constitutional limit on the initial declaration.