Philippine president seeks martial law extension

18 July, 2017, 08:27 | Author: Valerie Burke
  • Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has defended his anti-drug crackdown which has been blamed for the deaths of 3,200 peopleMore

In a recent statement, Duterte did not indicate the need to extend martial law but said he needs two more weeks to end the crisis in Marawi.

"If, on Saturday, the President will present to us the urgent need to extend martial law for another 60 days in Mindanao I believe my colleagues and I will grant it", Davao City Representative Karlo Nograles told reporters on Tuesday.

Abella said Duterte explained that the "existing rebellion in Mindanao will not be quelled completely down until 22nd of July". "Galing ako ng Mindanao (I came from Mindanao)", he said.

Drilon said he and the rest of the minority senators would support any proposed resolution to "immediately convene Congress in joint session to hear the explanations of the executive branch on the extension of martial law".

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

"There is a threat of kidnappings-for-ransom of foreigners, including USA citizens, from terrorist and insurgent groups based in the Sulu Archipelago and in the southern Sulu Sea area", the statement said.

Duterte has called Congress to a special session on Saturday, July 22, the 60th and last day of Proclamation No. 216's effectivity, and will ask legislators to extend the declaration he made on May 23, soon after fighting broke out between extremist gunmen and government forces.

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".

He said the military still has to clear some 500 to 550 buildings or establishments and this depends on the possible presence of improvised explosive devices and fuel bombs left by the terrorists.

Duterte's decision on whether or not martial law will be lifted or extended will depend largely on the recommendations of the AFP and other national security officials.

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