Solon seeks extension of martial law in Mindanao until June 2019
A lawmaker has sought another extension of martial law in Mindanao, this time until June 30, 2019.
Iligan Rep. Frederick Siao filed on November 14 House Resolution No. 2302 which urged President Rodrigo Duterte to extend martial law in the southern region, citing “initial reports of terrorist plots and the need to secure the May 2019 elections.”
Siao, a member of the House committee on suffrage and electoral reforms, said, “it is urgently imperative that government authority must ensure peaceful, orderly, and honest May 2019 elections in Mindanao, including and especially in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region and adjacent regions, to secure the integrity of the ballots and safety of voters and elections personnel and to ensure that the duly-elected officials are installed.”
He cited “sporadic incidents of violence” including an ambush in Lanao del Sur where five agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency had died.
Siao also said the martial law could end after the elected officials assumed office and the Philippine National Police could “reassume peace and order responsibilities in Mindanao.”
Duterte first declared martial law in Mindanao on May 23, 2017, after the Islamic State-inspired Maute terrorist group attacked Marawi City. The Congress, upon his recommendation, later extended it until the end of 2018 despite the government’s declaration of an end to fierce urban fighting in the war-torn area. /ee
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