Lorenzana mum on martial law, Guerrero extension

MANILA -- Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana refused to comment on the possible extension of martial law in Mindanao and Gen. Rey Leonard Guerrero's term as Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff.

"I cannot talk about that, we already submitted our recommendation (on the extension of martial law in Mindanao) yesterday (Monday)," Lorenzana said on the sidelines of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Yearend Meeting, held at the AFP Commissioned Officers' Club in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City Tuesday.

When asked on the contents of their recommendations, the DND chief replied, "Hindi ko sasabihin sa inyo kasi bahala na ang Malacanang na mag-announce kung ano yun. (I will not share that with you anymore. It is up to Malacanang to announce what that recommendation is.)"

Martial law was declared in Mindanao on May 23 following the series of attacks conducted by Maute Group terrorists in Marawi City.

The Congress, voting jointly -- 261 against 18 -- affirmed the need to extend Proclamation No. 216 extending martial law and the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus until Dec. 31 as initiated by President Rodrigo Duterte.

When queried on whether he recommended the extension of Guerrero as AFP chief, Lorenzana also declined to comment on the matter.

"I cannot talk about that," he added.

Guerrero succeeded Gen. Eduardo AAo last Oct. 26. He is a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1984.

He is expected to retire on December 17.

Source: Philippine News Agency