AFP, PNP recommend extension of martial law in Mindanao

Sergio Conner
December 8, 2017

The Armed Forces of the Philippines has recommended the extension of martial law in Mindanao, saying it is needed to decisively resolve the various armed threats in the south.

Martial law in Mindanao must be extended.

The PNP recommended the extension for two reasons: to address "continuing threats of terrorists or extremist groups" in Mindanao, and "to facilitate Marawi rehabilitation".

During a briefing in the presidential palace earlier today, AFP spokesperson Maj.

Brigadier General Restituto Padilla said the recommendation had been submitted to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana who, "after duly studying it has forwarded the recommendation to Malacañang", although he admitted "I don't have the details as to the length" of time the military wants martial rule prolonged.

In a separate statement, Drilon, along with other minority senators, said the proposed extension might hamper rebuilding efforts in Marawi City.

"As I am concerned, there is a recommendation to similarly support the recommendation of the Philippine National Police", he said.

"What matters most is the view of the stakeholders, the view of the Mindanaoans on martial law".

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As many as 7,000 people are thought to have been killed in the Philippines since Duterte launched the "drug war" against the illegal narcotics trade.

"If this is the only reason, the AFP and the PNP can exercise their powers under their respective charters without placing Mindanao under martial law for one whole year", Drilon said.

Minority senators Bam Aquino, Franklin Drilon, Risa Hontiveros, Kiko Pangilinan, and Antonio Trillanes said they are ready to oppose any move to extend military rule in Mindanao beyond 2017.

Martial law was first implemented on 23 May this year after Marawi City was stormed by heavily-armed homegrown militants who pledged allegiance to the dreaded Islamic State.

The five-month war in Marawi which ended in October between government troops and the Maute terror group turned homes and buildings into rubble and displaced over 300,000 residents.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the police and other law enforcement agencies to rejoin anti-drug operations, overturning his earlier directive to leave it to the government's anti-drug agency to handle the much-criticized deadly campaign.

When the 60-day period the Constitution sets for the initial declaration lapsed, Duterte sought and was granted an extension by Congress until the end of the year.

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