MANILA - Malacañang on Thursday said extending martial law in Mindanao beyond the end of the year is a possibility, especially if it is helping secure the restive region.
The martial law in Mindanao will lapse by the end of the year and the Palace will have to decide soon whether it will ask Congress for another extension.
“If it is helping the population – the population is not even opposing it, so to my mind, there is a need to extend it,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo told reporters in a press briefing when asked whether the Palace will support the lifting of the martial law proclamation.
Panelo noted that the military noted that the martial law has helped in the peace and order situation in Mindanao and has “dissuaded” terrorists from carrying out attacks.
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea earlier said extending martial rule in the south is an "option," in the wake of an explosion in Sultan Kudarat that killed at least 3 people.
Vice President Leni Robredo and several senators, however, were opposed to the idea, saying the current martial law has failed to prevent violence in the region.