Sotto: Duterte likely to call for joint session on martial law extension
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte might call for a joint session of Congress on Wednesday, December 12, to tackle the proposed extension of martial law in Mindanao, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said Friday.
“(On) Monday morning may briefing kami (with) AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines). I’m still waiting for the President’s letter re joint session. He sent me a message saying he might call for it on Wednesday, Dec. 12,” Sotto told reporters in a text message.
The Senate leader, however, stressed that “nothing is concrete” until he receives the President’s letter.
The AFP and Philippine National Police (PNP) have formally recommended to the Mr. Duterte the extension of martial law in Mindanao for another year or up to the end of 2019.
In May 2017, Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao after the ISIS-inspired Maute Group laid siege in 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.
The President again requested that martial law in the region be extended for a year, or up to December 31, 2018, citing continuous insurgency of the New People’s Army in Mindanao. /kga
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