Lorenzana backs martial law extension
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana will back the military establishment’s recommendation to extend martial law in Mindanao for one more year.
“I will follow the recommendation of the chief of staff. I will also recommend the extension of martial law for another year,” he said in an interview with the CNN Philippines’ The Source on Tuesday.
He said a letter for the recommendation was already being drafted to be forwarded to President Rodrigo Duterte later in the day.
On Monday, Armed Forces chief Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr. said they were recommending the continuation of martial law after various agencies called for it.
This, he said, will also help them have a “significant dent” on terrorists around southern Philippines.
Mindanao was first placed under martial law in May 2017 after fighting broke out in Marawi City. About 1,000 people were killed in the five-month siege, while hundreds of thousands were displaced.
Martial law will continue until the end of 2018 after it has been extended twice by Congress last year.
Lorenzana said some sectors were calling for localized martial law but he did not find it feasible.
“I don’t think it will work. These areas are contiguous. Terrorists could move from one place to another so we want the whole Mindanao under martial law so we can run after them,” he said. /cbb
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