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Palace: There might be need to extend martial law if…

By: - Reporter / @NCorralesINQ
/ 03:25 PM October 18, 2018
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Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo. INQUIRER.net file photo / CATHY MIRANDA

There is no recommendation yet to extend martial law in Mindano but Malacañang said on Thursday there might be “a need to extend it.”

“Well, according to the military, the martial law has helped in the peace and order situation. And it has dissuaded the terrorists from inflicting the usual violence against the population,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a Palace briefing.

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“As I said, if it is helping the population, [and] the population is not even [opposing] it, so to my mind there is a need to extend it,” Panelo said.

He, however, said the extension of martial rule in Mindanao would depend on the recommendation of the military.

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“But according to the President, it will depend on the advice, the recommendation of the military because they are the ones on the ground,” Panelo said.

“The President always heed the advice and the recommendation of the military and other police forces there because they are the ones who are knowledgeable on the conditions existing there,” he added.

The martial rule in the South ended on December 31, 2017, but it has a second extension valid until December 31, 2018.

As of now, Panelo said there has no recommendation yet forwarded to the President regarding its latest extension.

“No, there is no suggestion. The President always wait for the recommendation of the military,” he said.

“What I’m saying, there is a need to extend if that particular martial law would be helpful in maintaining peace and order. Because if it does not, why do you have to maintain it?” he added.

The entire Mindanao was placed under martial law on  May 23, 2017 after the ISIS-inspired Maute group launched an attack, laying siege the entire Marawi City, prompting months of heavy combat.

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President Rodrigo Duterte declared its liberation on October 17, 2017, five months after the siege started.

Asked about the President’s absence during the one year commemoration on Wednesday, Panelo said it should be a non-issue.

“His non-attendance does not mean he was not interested. In fact, he has been doing a lot of things for the rehabilitation of that place,” he said. /jpv

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