Duterte wants third extension of martial law in Mindanao
PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has sought Congress to extend martial rule in Mindanao for another year, heeding the call of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police.
“The Palace confirms that the President has requested Congress to approve the further extension of martial law and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in the whole of Mindanao for another year starting next month,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement, Friday, December 7.
Duterte has already sent a letter to the respective leaders of the Senate and the House of Representatives, containing his request to extend martial law and suspend the writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao for another year, Panelo sai d.
“While it is now up to Congress to decide on whether this initiative by the President is justified or not, we are positive that it will share our views as ours are purely intended for the general welfare of our brothers and sisters in Mindanao,” the Palace official said.
This is the third time the President has requested Congress to extend martial rule.
Mindanao was first placed under martial rule on May 23, 2017 after the Maute terror group laid siege in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur purposedly to build an enclave for Southeast Asia extremists.
Marawi City was declared liberated in October 2017, but Duterte asked the Congress twice to extend martial rule in the beleagured region, in an effort to completely quell insurgency.
Martial law in Mindanao will expire on December 31 this year, but if the Senate and the House of Representatives heed Duterte’s recommendation, it will lapse until the end of 2019.
Section 18, Article 7 of the Constitution states that the President’s declaration of martial law and suspension of writ of habeas corpus can either be revoked or extended for a period determined by Congress through joint voting.
Panelo said the martial rule in Mindanao made significant strides in fighting insurgency, as well as in achieving peace and order in the region.
He, however, lamented that threats of terrorism in Mindanao still exists, despite the current administration’s efforts to thwart such unlawful act.