PNP chief hoping for approval of third martial law extension in Mindanao
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said he is hopeful that Congress will approve the third extension of martial law in Mindanao.
“It will pass through the Congress. I think this recommendation of another year [of extension] will pass the Congress,” he said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel on Thursday.
Earlier, Albayalde said he already signed on Tuesday a document recommending the extension of martial law in Mindanao for another year. He said General Carlito Galvez Jr., Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, also signed the said document.
“We hope so, it will be passed by Congress and it will be approved by the Supreme Court,” he said.
But Senator Panfilo Lacson, who was also former PNP chief, earlier expressed doubts that the Congress would easily approve another extension of martial law like in the past.
Lacson said Malacañang should exert more effort in convincing Congress if it really wants to extend martial law in the region, which is set to expire on December 31, 2018.
Albayalde said extending the implementation of martial law in Mindanao would help ensure a peaceful plebiscite for the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law, which will create the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, in January 2019.
He also said it would help enable a peaceful 2019 midterm elections.
In May 2017, Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao after the ISIS-inspired Maute Group attacked Marawi City.
Under the 1987 Constitution, martial law can only be imposed for a maximum of 60 days. But before it expired in July last year, Duterte asked Congress for its extension until December 2017.
Duterte again requested that martial law in the region be extended for a year, citing continuous threat and insurgency of the New People’s Army in Mindanao. /jpv
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.