President Duterte seeks Congress extension of martial law in Mindanao until end of 2019

(File photo) Opening of House of Representatives’ Third Regular Session on Monday morning, July 23, 2018. (Screenshot from RTVM video)

(Eagle News) — President Rodrigo Duterte wants Congress to extend martial law in Mindanao until the end of 2019 as the previous extension for martial law is about to end this month.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea confirmed that President Duterte has already approved the recommendation of the military and the police to extend martial law in Mindanao for another year.

The previous extension of martial law in the South will end by December 31, 2018.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III said that Congress may call a joint session next week, particularly on December 12, to take up the Palace request for martial law extension in Mindanao.

But this early, House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr, already said that lawmakers in the House of Representatives would be “inclined to grant” another extension.

“I think we’re inclined to grant it,” he said.

On the part of the Senate, Senator Richard Gordon said that they would want to get the explanation from the Armed Forces of the Philippines on why they are recommending an extension of martial law in Mindanao.

“Dapat talaga may grand plan ang military para matapos ang problemang yan,” Gordon said in an interview with media on Friday, Dec. 7, 2018.

Martial law in Mindanao was first implemented on May 23, 2017 after the take-over by the ISIS-inspired Maute rebels of Marawi City.

It was, however, good only for 60 days as provided by the Constitution which was the reason why, before its expiration, President Duterte asked Congress then to extend it for until end of 2017. The request was granted.

Before the end of 2017, Duterte again asked Congress to extend martial law in Mindanao until December 31, 2018, which was again approved.