Arroyo says House to heed Duterte decision on martial law extension
MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives is bound to heed the call of President Rodrigo Duterte if he requests for another extension of martial law in Mindanao, Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said Wednesday.
“If it comes to our chamber, I will recommend to pass it,” Arroyo told reporters in an interview, referring on the possible extension of martial rule in the southern region for the third time.
The Chief Executive has yet to make a stand on the issue but Gen. Carlito Galvez, chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), as well as Philippine National Police (PNP) Director Gen. Oscar Albayalde, said they would want another one-year extension of martial law in Mindanao, which is set to expire on Dec. 31, 2018.
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.
Several lawmakers opposed the proposal, with Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel Lagman saying it has no “constitutional basis” and would mean “an admission that the military has failed to achieve the purported objectives of the previous martial law extensions.” /jpv
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