Extend martial law in Mindanao, AFP, PNP ask Duterte

Duterte inverted

"While we have already begun laying the foundation for the reconstruction, recovery, and rehabilitation of Marawi City through community engagement, coordination with various agencies and making post disaster assessments, we earnestly look forward to the end of fighting because we want our Maranao brothers and sisters who have left their homes to go back, reconstitute their interrupted lives and partner with us on how we can best rebuild Marawi into a better and more lovely city", Lorenzana said. Joseph Victor Ejercito, who is generally supportive of an extension given a "sufficient and convincing justification".

President Rodrigo Duterte imposed martial law in Mindanao island on May 23 following the siege laid by the ISIL-linked Maute group in the city of Marawi.

"I'll be surprised if he'll (Duterte) not ask for an extension", Gordon told dzBB.

The law, details of which were not immediately available, calls for the creation of a self-administered territory within what the Philippines called Bangsamoro, meaning "Moro nation", referring to the southern Muslims that Spanish colonialists called "Moros". "Given that the 1987 Constitution places utmost importance on our systems of checks and balances, any notion of perpetual or even a five-year martial rule in any part of the country can never be allowed".

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the President's call for a special session is necessitated by the exigency to deliberate on the possible extension of the period of effectivity of Proclamation No. 216 in Mindanao.

The said recommendation, however, does not contain a specific time frame for the proposed extension.

The positive public response indicates that they believe the factual and legal basis of the proclamation of martial law for Mindanao, which includes the Maute Group's attempt to remove allegiance from the government and to deprive the Chief Executive of his powers to enforce the laws and maintain public order and safety.

The Defense chief also affirmed that his "trust and confidence in the professionalism and integrity of the Armed Forces, however, remains strong", amid allegations.

The PNP chief earlier said the AFP's recommendation would be based on tactical and operational considerations while theirs would be more for investigations.

Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana said the military, for its part, has also submitted its recommendation on July 13, but declined to give their position so "as not to preempt the President". But he also said then that they were considering reducing its scope. But he refused to disclose their recommendation "so as not to preempt the President".

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