Digong still weigh­ing mar­tial law rec­om­men­da­tion

Sun Star Bacolod - - Top Stories -

Ro­drigo “Digong” Duterte is care­fully weigh­ing the mil­i­tary and the po­lice’s rec­om­men­da­tion to ex­tend for an­other year the dec­la­ra­tion of mar­tial law in Min­danao, Mala­cañang said on Thurs­day, De­cem­ber 6.

Speak­ing to Palace re­porters, Pres­i­den­tial Spokesper­son Sal­vador Panelo said the Pres­i­dent may make pub­lic his de­ci­sion “very soon.”

“Prob­a­bly, he’s still eval­u­at­ing all the facts given him, the cir­cum­stances, the pros and the cons,” the Palace of­fi­cial said, when asked if Duterte al­ready has a de­ci­sion on the pro­posal to ex­tend mar­tial law in Min­danao.

“Hope­fully very soon, [he’ll have his de­ci­sion]. I will ask him,” he added.

The Armed Forces the Philip­pines of (AFP) and the Philip­pine Na­tional Po­lice (PNP) have rec­om­mended the ex­ten­sion of mar­tial law in Min­danao.

Duterte first placed the en­tire Min­danao un­der mar­tial law on May 23, 2017 after the Maute Group, which is in­spired by the Is­lamic State (IS), laid siege to Marawi City.

Congress twice ex­tended the mil­i­tary rule in Min­danao, fol­low­ing Duterte’s re­quest, in a bid to com­pletely quell re­bel­lion in the war-torn re­gion.

The first ex­ten­sion ended on De­ce­mer 31, 2017, while the sec­ond will ex­pire at the end of 2018.

On Wed­nes­day, De­cem­ber 5, Duterte ad­mit­ted that his ad­min­is­tra­tion re­mains bat­tling “so many fronts,” which in­clude pro-is groups whose main ob­jec­tive was just to “kill and de­stroy.”

The Pres­i­dent how­ever, did not give any hint about his de­ci­sion on the AFP and the PNP’S pro­posed one-year mar­tial law ex­ten­sion in Min­danao.

Asked if Duterte’s De­cem­ber 5 state­ment was a hint of pos­si­bly ex­tend­ing mar­tial rule, Panelo said the Chief Ex­ec­u­tive’s de­ci­sion would de­pend on the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion in the be­sieged re­gion.

“Well, if threat is still there, if there [are] a com­mit­ting acts of vi­o­lence, and peo­ple’s safety is in dan­ger, and the peo­ple there are the one’s clam­or­ing for ex­ten­sion, then the Pres­i­dent will ask Congress to ex­tend the mar­tial law,” Panelo said.

“The Pres­i­dent will in­form Congress if he wants to ex­tend and the Congress will de­lib­er­ate prior to the re­cess. I think it will still be on time,” he added./sun­star Philip­pines

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