MANILA - The Philippine National Police said Monday it recommended the extension of martial law in Mindanao to arrest politicians allegedly linked to the illegal drug trade, whom it accused of aiding extremist groups.
The 60-day effectivity of martial rule, which President Rodrigo Duterte declared following bloody clashed between troops and Islamic State-inspired militants, expires this week.
"Meron kaming position paper na sinubmit last Friday, expressing our stand [on] extending the martial law..pero hindi kami naglagay ng period basta, we are for the extension..The same ang scope, buong Mindanao," PNP Chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa told reporters.
(We submitted a position paper last Friday expressing our stand on extending martial law. We did not indicate a period (for extension), but we are for the extension...On the same scope, over the entire Mindanao.)
"Yung mga identified na narco-politicians who we believe to be supporting the cause of the Maute group still applies..Hulihin muna natin sila," he said.
(The identified narco-politicians who are believed to be supporting the cause of the Maute group still applies...We will arrest them first.)
The Supreme Court on July 4 dismissed petitions questioning the martial law declaration.
Some 500 people have been killed since fighting broke out in Marawi City on May 23.