Duterte wants one-year martial law extension in Mindanao

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DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Tomorrow, December 11, the Palace will transmit to Congress and the Senate the letter of President Rodrigo seeking to extend martial law in Mindanao for one year.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea in a message to reporters stressed “The recommendation is one year.”

President Rodritgo Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao by virtue of  Proclamation No. 216 which placed whole of Mindanao Island under martial law since May 23 when the Islamic State-inspired Maute Group attacked Marawi City in a bid to establish a caliphate there.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) earlier recommended a one-year extension of martial law in Mindanao.

Last July, Congress voted to extend martial law until Dec. 31 after the 60-day period had expired.

The Department of National Defense (DND) claims extending martial law is essential to completely curb threats from sympathizers of the Maute-ISIS.

Task Force Marawi Deputy Commander Col. Brawner earlier revealed the remnants of ISIS is again recuirting membership in different areas in Mindanao.

Arsenio Andolong, DND public affairs chief said “It will help us to continue our momentum in our campaign against the Daesh (Arabic word for ISIS) and their sympathizers and not to do so will allow them to regroup again. (And) as you know there have been reports that they are recruiting already in the Lanao area so I think this will help curb their activities on the ground.”

“If we dont have martial law, it will be very difficult for the rehabilitation of Marawi and the other war torn areas in the area,” he added.

The fate of Duterte’s request for extension will be decided in the next fiva days as Congress is set to adjourn for a month-long break on Friday, December 15.-Editha Z. Caduaya/Newsline.ph

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