Palace says premature to talk about extending martial law in Mindanao
Malacanang said on Friday it is still premature to talk about the possible extension of martial law in Mindanao.
In a press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said President Rodrigo Duterte would get recommendation from the security agencies if he would prolong martial rule.
"So as of now, I think it's too early (to talk about further extending martial law). Let's observe first and wait for the recommendation from the military," he said.
Roque said Duterte had not discussed with security officials during the last command conference about the possible martial law extension.
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea earlier said further extending martial law could be an option following the deadly bombing in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat on Tuesday night where at least three people were killed and dozens were wounded.
Roque said since martial law was declared in Mindanao in May last year due to Marawi crisis, the Sultan Kudarat incident was the second bomb attack that happened in the region.
The first one was in Lamitan, Basilan early August, resulting to the death of 11 people, including allegedly the suicide bomber.
Asked if martial law is effective following the explosion in Isulan, Roque said, "Well, I think it’s premature to say because?in fairness this is the second incident that we’ve had in Mindanao since martial law was declared, the first being in Basilan and the second being in Isulan."
"So let's see first and I am not in a position to substitute my decision to that of the men on the grounds," he added.
Martial law has been declared in Mindanao until the end of this year due to rebellion. Celerina Monte/DMS