House, Senate to hold joint session to tackle martial law extension
The House of Representatives and the Senate will hold a joint session on Wednesday, Dec. 13, to discuss President Rodrigo Duterte’s request to extend martial law in Mindanao for another year.
House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas confirmed this on Monday.
“Joint Session to consider the request of the President for the further extension of the proclamation of martial law and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in the whole of Mindanao for a period of one year, from Jan 1, 2018 to Dec 31, 2018, will be on Wednesday, Dec 13, 2017, at 9 a.m., “ Fariñas said in a text message to reporters.
It is still unclear whether the Congress would have to push back the scheduled adjournment of the session on Wednesday.
Duterte made formal the request and sent the letter to the Senate and House leadership stating the reasons for the recommending martial law extension.
Duterte said the extension would help government security forces to “quell completely and put an end to the on-going rebellion in Mindanao and prevent the same from escalating to other parts of the country.”
The President asked for the extension to “ensure total eradication of DAESH-Inspired Da’awatul islamiyah Waliyatui Masriq (DIWM), other like-minded Local/Foreign Terrorist Groups (L/FTGs) and Armed Lawless Groups (ALGs), and the communist terrorists (CTs) and their coddlers, supporters, and financiers.”
The President cited the following reasons for the extension of martial law.
*Remnants of the groups of Hapilon and Maute brothers continue to rebuild their organization through the recruitment and training of new members and fighters to carry on the rebellion;
*Remnants of DAESH-inspired DIWM members and their allies together with their protectors, supporters and sympathizers, have been monitored in their continued efforts towards radicalization/recruitment, financial and logistical buildup, as well as in their consolidation/reorganization in Central Mindanao particularly in the provinces of Maguindanao and North Cotabato and also in Sulu and Basilan;
*Turaifie Group, the leader of which was believed to be Hapilon’s potential successor as Emir of DAESH Wilayat in the Philippines, and Southeast Asia, has been monitored to be planning to conduct bombings, notably targeting the Cotabato area;
*Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) continue to defy the government by perpetrating at least fifteen (15) violent incidents during the Martial Law period in Maguindanao and North Cotabato;
*Remnants of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, and Zamboanga Peninsula “remain as a serious security concern;
*And continued threat of communist rebels in the region.
These recent developments involving communists, he said, “forebode another year of intensified armed hostilities which, together with other security concerns described above, continue to make Mindanao the hotbed of rebellion.”
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