Philippine House leader wants Martial Law extended till Duterte steps down

Tent

Tent "city" to rise in Philippines' Marawi to house residents displaced by conflict

Kabayan Party-list Rep. Harry Roque said if the President would decide to extend martial law in the south, he hoped it wouldn't be for long because he said it would not be good for the country's image.

The attack prompted Duterte to issue Proclamation 216 declaring martial law and suspending the writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao.

"I can not give you a categorical answer because the assessment for the extension of martial law is still being undertaken and we have not finished this yet", Padilla told a press briefing at the Palace on Monday.

Duterte has not indicated any plan to lift martial law in Marawi until its full 60-day term, not even before his second State of the National Address (Sona) scheduled for July 24, unless security officers tell him Mindanao is finally safe.

In the light of House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez dropping more than just hints tilting toward an extension of up to five years for the martial law declared over the whole of Mindanao, several quarters, not the least of which is the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), have come out with a perspective that is not entirely synchronous.

President Rodrigo Duterte today, July 7 visited the 2nd Mechanized Infantry Brigade, Light Armor Division of the Philippine Army in Barangay Maria Christina, Iligan City in battle dress uniform as the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Commander-in-Chief with rank of five-star general.

Padilla, meanwhile, said that the number of government troopers killed in the conflict has risen to 89 since the conflict started on May 23, 2017.

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"Government has trailed it focus on the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Marawi as the defeat of the Maute-ISIS Group looms with the military operations and the cooperation of local government", he added.

Richard Gordon, in separate interviews earlier, asked Duterte to inform Congress before July 22 if he wants martial law to remain in force.

The possible extension of martial law in Mindanao will be among the crucial issues to be taken up when President Duterte and senators from the majority bloc meet next week, Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III said yesterday.

"Civil and political rights continue to be violated by checkpoints, random searches by AFP soldiers, threats against the right to express views, and so on", the CPP said.

Social Weather Stations (SWS) reported that only 12 per cent of the Filipinos said they were dissatisfied for a net satisfaction rating of plus 66 per cent, considered a "new personal record high" for Duterte.

From the original number of forces of about 500, the military said the number of terrorists still holed up in the city is now down to about 80.

"Our efforts on the ground are also focused (on) rescuing civilians who are still trapped".

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