MANILA - (UPDATED) President Rodrigo Duterte is set to officially ask Congress to extend the declaration of martial law in Mindanao a second time.
House Majority Leader Fariñas shared to House reporters his communication with Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.
“Text of ES Medialdea to me while I was discussing some bills with him: Btw, letter extension of ML signed by PRRD will be delivered tomorrow to the House and Senate,” the message read.
Asked when Congress intended to convene a joint session to consider the request, Fariñas said, “ I, of course, relayed it first to the Speaker who said we will discuss it tomorrow. We will have to discuss it with our Senate counterparts.”
House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez previously expressed support for the extension even as some lawmakers from both chambers opposed it.
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea confirmed his communication with Fariñas to the Malacañang Pres Corps, saying the "recommendation is one year."
The Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police recommended the extension last week.
Congress will only be in session until Wednesday before it adjourns for its Christmas break until January 14, 2018. The current martial law declaration expires at the end of the year.
Fariñas could not give any more details as he has yet to receive the actual letter.
President Duterte first declared martial law for Mindanao on May 23, following the attack of the ISIS-inspired Maute terror group in Marawi city.
After the expiration of the 60-day period, Congress approved Duterte’s request to extend martial law until December 31. -- with reports from RG Cruz and Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News