PRRD WEIGH­ING MAR­TIAL LAW

The Palace spokesper­son said the Pres­i­dent is look­ing at the pros and cons for the pos­si­ble ex­ten­sion

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Manila - Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo 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 of the Philip­pines (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.

Prob­a­bly, he’s still eval­u­at­ing all the facts given him, the cir­cum­stances, the pros and the cons.

SAL­VADOR PANELO Pres­i­den­tial Spokesper­son

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