Digong still weighing martial law recommendation
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