Military, police to recommend extending martial law in Mindanao by one year
The military and police will recommend to President Rodrigo Duterte at least one year extension of martial law in Mindanao.
In a press briefing in Camp Aguinaldo on Monday, Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Carlito Galvez Jr said a lot of government officials and agencies are recommending that martial law be extended.
"We have recommendations already. What we can say is all Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) and also the local government units, even the COMELEC (Commission on Elections) and other agencies are recommending for extension of at least one year," he said.
Galvez said they will submit their recommendation to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana. They will be presenting it during the next command conference meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte on December 12 with the new chief of staff.
Galvez will step down as chief of staff on December 12.
Philippine National Police Director General Oscar Albayalde, in a separate press conference Monday morning, said they are supporting the extension of martial law in Mindanao.
"I think the PNP has made it clear that we support the AFP's intention also of supporting the extension of martial law especially it will favor us because of the upcoming plebiscite and elections in Mindanao," Albayalde said.
Galvez said they considered the threat of terrorism in recommending the extension of martial law, citing bombings in Basilan and encounters in Sulu.
"The Sulu problem still persists and also, we have also some bombings in Isulan and GenSan (General Santos) and also continuous bombing in Maguindanao. So there is really a need to constrict and limit the maneuver space of the terrorist to the maximum," he explained.
"We have a very weak terrorism law so with that martial law is need to completely defeat the terrorism," he added.
Galvez said martial law will stay in Mindanao and not be expand into other areas.
President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao last May 2017 during the Marawi siege.
Congress then approved to extend it until December 31, 2018 due to rebellion in Mindanao. Ella Dionisio/DMS