MANILA- Extending the 60-day martial law in Mindanao for the rest of President Rodrigo Duterte's term will "send the wrong signal to investors," Senate Committee on Economic Affairs Sherwin Gatchalian said Tuesday.
"It sends the wrong signal to the business community... If you have uncertainty in that area, unstable ang area, mahihirapan tayo. Even domestic investors natin ay mahihirapan pumunta doon at maglagay ng investments.," Gatchalian told reporters.
"Walang basis ang five years, dahil we want to get over this as fast as we can, at gusto natin na magkaroon ng sense of normality na sa Mindanao at sa buong bansa," he added.
House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez earlier proposed to extend the martial law proclamation for 5 more years, or until Duterte's term ends in 2022.
The declaration's 60-day validity is set to expire on July 22, two days before the president's second state of the nation address.
The President had declared martial law over all of Mindanao on May 23, the day clashes between state troops and Islamic State-linked terrorists erupted in Marawi City.
Government offensives still continue nearly two months into the crisis, and the death toll has reached more than 500, most of them suspected extremists.
Gatchalian said extending the imposition of martial law in the restive south would depend on information from security officials.
Duterte would need Congress approval in case he would seek an extension of the martial law declaration.
Earlier, the police and military chiefs have expressed willingness to extend martial rule to pave the way for rehabilitation efforts in Marawi.