Congress extends Mindanao martial law until end of 2018

Lester Mason
December 13, 2017

"The President (Rodrigo Duterte) cited compelling reasons in his request to extend the proclamation of martial law, as well as the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, in the whole of Mindanao", Calida said, referring to the letter request dated December 8 transmitted to Congress.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, wearing a military uniform, gestures as he delivers a speech during the 67th founding anniversary of the First Scout Ranger regiment in San Miguel town, Bulacan province, north of Manila, Philippines November 24, 2017.

Congress, which is dominated by Duterte's allies, approved Duterte's martial law declaration this year.

Nevertheless, he said ultimately, it is the Supreme Court that will have to decide on the issue whether or not there is, in fact, a factual basis for the extension or martial in the entire Mindanao.

Extending martial law, he said, would help the AFP, the PNP and all other law enforcement agencies "quell completely and put an end to the ongoing rebellion in Mindanao and prevent the same from escalating to other parts of the country".

Despite the liberation of Marawi from ISIS-inspired terrorists, local terror groups and the New People's Army pose security threats in the region, according to the president.


Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra, answering Atienza's questions, said the Constitution itself explains Duterte's request to extend martial law.

Lorenzana announced the termination of all combat operations in Marawi on October 23, exactly five months after the siege began and five months after martial law was declared. "The remnants of these rebel groups are now regrouping and recruiting new members to sustain the ongoing rebellion". "A threat is different from an actual armed uprising".

Duterte's request also said a little-known operative, Abu Turaifie was active in Mindanao and is "said to be" the potential point man of for Islamic State in Southeast Asia.

Duterte, who had resumed peace talks with the communists, has terminated the negotiations and declared the rebels a terrorist group.

Among others, he cited the 385 "atrocities" committed by th NPA in Mindanao, including 59 incidents of arson that destroyed P2.2 billion in properties.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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