MANILA – Malacañang on Tuesday expressed hopes that Congress would heed President Rodrigo Duterte’s request to extend martial law in Mindanao for another year.
“We look forward to the support which has been given in the past by Congress. We have factual basis for the declaration of martial law and we see no reason why Congress will not give its usual support to this initiative of the Chief Executive,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a news briefing.
Congress is set to hold a joint session Wednesday to tackle Duterte’s request to extend martial law for one more year.
The declaration, already an extension of an initial 60-day period that began on May 23 when firefights erupted in Marawi City, is set to lapse on Dec. 31.
Ahead of the joint session, Palace and security officials briefed senators on Duterte’s request.
Minority lawmakers have opposed the proposal, with Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon saying that another extension would be unconstitutional as there is no actual armed uprising in the region.
The approval from lawmakers, nonetheless, is "a foregone conclusion," Drilon told reporters ahead of the security briefing.
The President on Monday asked Congress to extend martial law ahead of its lapse by the end of the year, arguing that extremists have been regrouping since the 5-month Marawi conflict ended in October.