Palace hopeful Congress will allow martial law extension
Malacañang is hopeful that Congress will approve the request of President Rodrigo Duterte to extend his martial law declaration in Mindanao, which expires Saturday.
The House of Representatives and the Senate on Saturday convened in a special session to tackle the request of the President to extend the martial rule in Mindanao.
“The primary objective of the extension is to allow our forces to continue in their swift and decisive action in liberating Marawi,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a statement.
In a letter sent to Congress on July 18, Duterte asked the legislative body to allow the extension of his military rule until the end of 2017.
“As authorities follow through with their operations, they need to be on guard in preventing the spillover of lawlessness and violent extremism in other parts of Mindanao and maintain peace and stability in the entire island, owing to the cohesion, bond of comradeship and affinity of the personalities involved, which run deep and complex and have created a network that could stretch in all corners of Mindanao,” Abella said.
The President declared martial law in the entire Mindanao on May 23, after Islamic State-inspired Maute group attacked Marawi City in a bid to establish a caliphate there.
As of July 19, about 427 enemies were killed, 99 government troops killed in action while 45 civilians died as Maute members sowed terror in the city.
“We trust Congress to recognize the gravity of the situation and support the Executive Department in declaring that the factual and legal basis upon which martial law and the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus was upheld is continuing and still persists,” Abela said. JPV
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