Philippine's Duterte asks Congress to extend martial law

Philippine's Duterte asks Congress to extend martial law

Cheryl Sanders
December 11, 2017

President Rodrigo Duterte placed the entire island of Mindanao under Martial law on May 23 after the Islamic State-linked Maute group attacked Marawi City.

Duterte also warned that the Turaifie group, the potential successor of Isnilon Hapilon as Islamic State emir for Southeast Asia, is planning to conduct bombings in the Cotabato area.

He noted that at least 185 terrorists listed in the martial law arrest orders remain at large.

Philippine legislators voted overwhelmingly to extend the martial law until December 31, 2017 to give more time to crush the insurgents and destroy their terror network that plans to establish a caliphate in the southern Philippine region.

The House of Representatives and the Senate is expected to hold a joint session this week to discuss Duterte's request for extending martial law in Mindanao.

In a text message on Monday, December 11, House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas said that the congressional session "officially end on on Friday, Dec 15; hence, we may have a joint session on Thursday (Dec. 14) or Friday (Dec. 15) as part of the 2nd Regular Session, without need of a special session".

In earlier reports, Duterte was clear on saying that the Palace's recommendation to extend Martial law or not will depend upon the reports and assessment of the military.

The President added Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana himself, as Martial Law Administrator, recommended the extension for 1 year "to ensure total eradication" of terrorist groups.

Alindogan also said that many critics had voiced their opposition to martial law, citing abuses by the military.

"If we dont have martial law, it will be very hard for the rehabilitation of Marawi and the other war torn areas in the area", he added.

"The projected extension of martial law in Mindanao is constitutionally infirm, both as to grounds and duration".

"We need not only to focus on Marawi or Lanao, but the whole Mindanao, considering yung ating mga threats coming from ISIS, and global terrorists organizations, ang cover talaga is whole Mindanao, yung border ng Muslim countries", said task force commander Col. Nolasco Mempin.

The initial period of martial law was limited by the constitution to 60 days.

The AFP, however, assured the public that there will be no human rights abuses under their watch in case Congress grants the second extension of martial law in Mindanao.

"Even the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines admit only the existence of threats from remnants of terrorist groups who are reportedly recruiting fighters and regrouping to exact "vengeance" against government forces", he added.

Other reports by iNewsToday