MANILA—Extending martial law in Mindanao for the fourth time will depend on the recommendation of the military and police, President Rodrigo Duterte said Tuesday night.
"I will leave it to the military and the police to make the recommendation," he said in a press briefing in Malacañang Palace.
"Martial law is a military thing. It's their assessment or evaluation of the Mindanao situation," Duterte added.
The President said he has yet to receive their recommendation whether to lift or extend anew the military rule in southern Philippines.
"Wala pa sa table ko. I was looking at the papers kanina," he said.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana earlier said he was not inclined to recommend an extension of martial law, calling instead for a tougher anti-terrorism law.
Meanwhile, the police want to implement it in select areas in Mindanao.
Mindanao was first placed under martial law in 2017 following clashes in Marawi City between government forces and Islamic State-inspired militants.
After Marawi was liberated on Oct. 17, 2017, Duterte sought another extension for 2018, and another until the end of 2019.