AFP chief admits recommending martial law extension until yearend
It was Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff General Eduardo Año who personally recommended to President Rodrigo Duterte to extend martial law in Mindanao up to the end of the year.
During a joint session of Senate and House of Representatives lawmakers on Saturday, Año revealed during an interpellation with Albay Representative Edcel Lagman that he recommended the extension of military rule in the entire Mindanao.
“What’s the duration of martial law extension which the military and defense establishment recommended?” Lagman asked Año.
“We recommended, sir, up to December 31, 2017 because as I’ve said we wanted to finish all these Daesh-inspired group in mind so that there will be no repeat of Marawi siege in the future,” Año replied.
Asked if they left to the discretion of President Duterte the period of extension, Año said: “No, your honor. I specifically recommended that.”
Año later defended that it was the not because of martial law that destruction happened in Marawi City but the new urban warfare employed by the ISIS-inspired Maute group.
“Kaya tumataggal labanan ‘di naman pwede dito patagin sila agad (That’s why the fighting lasted that long, because we cannot just flatten that place.) We put premium to saving lives and minimizing destruction of properties.” he said. IDL
Inquirer calls for support for the victims in Marawi City
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