Rody seek­ing martial law ex­ten­sion

Tempo - - Front Page - By GENALYN KABILING (with a re­port from Vanne Terrazola)

Pres­i­dent Duterte is seek­ing an­other ex­ten­sion of martial law in Min­danao upon the rec­om­men­da­tion of the mil­i­tary and po­lice.

The Pres­i­dent has called on Congress to sup­port the ex­ten­sion of martial law for an­other year in the South, ac­cord­ing to Ex­ec­u­tive Sec­re­tary Sal­vador Me­di­aldea.

"One year and Min­danao,” Me­di­aldea said about the Pres­i­dent’s de­ci­sion on the pro­posed martial law ex­ten­sion.

“It’s the Se­nate Pres­i­dent and Speaker who would call for a joint ses­sion prob­a­bly on the Pres­i­dent’s re­quest for the ex­ten­sion of martial law,” he added.

The Pres­i­dent de­clared martial law in Min­danao in May 2017 to quell threats of re­bel­lion and law­less vi­o­lence fol­low­ing the ter­ror siege in Marawi City. The martial law procla­ma­tion is sched­uled to ex­pire on Dec. 31 af­ter the ex­ten­sion pre­vi­ously granted by Congress.

The mil­i­tary and po­lice re­port­edly rec­om­mended to the Pres­i­dent a year­long ex­ten­sion of martial law to help ad­dress lin­ger­ing ter­ror threats in the re­gion.

Pres­i­den­tial spokesper­son Sal­vador Panelo had said the Pres­i­dent might be per­suaded to pro­long martial law in the South due to the sup­port of the mil­i­tary, po­lice, and the res­i­dents to keep peace and or­der.

"The ba­sis al­ways will be the safety of the peo­ple there. If the threat re­mains and there is still an on­go­ing re­bel­lion, then con­sti­tu­tion­ally the ba­sis will be valid for con­tin­u­a­tion of martial law," Panelo said.

Se­nate Pres­i­dent Vi­cente C. Sotto III dis­closed that Duterte has called for a joint ses­sion of Congress to vote on the pro­posed ex­ten­sion of martial law in Min­danao.

But Sotto noted that Duterte has yet to make his ap­peal for a joint ses­sion of­fi­cial.

"I'm still wait­ing for the Pres­i­dent's let­ter re: joint ses­sion. He sent me a mes­sage say­ing he might call for it on Wed­nes­day, Dec. 12. But noth­ing is con­crete un­til I re­ceive his let­ter," Sotto said.

Sotto said law­mak­ers are sched­uled to meet the Armed Forces of the Philip­pines on Mon­day next week for a briefing on their rec­om­men­da­tion to ex­tend martial law.

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