MANILA MalacaAang on Monday said President Rodrigo Duterte will evaluate the recommendation of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) to extend martial law in Mindanao for a year.
Of course, the President will always evaluate whatever recommendation that the AFP and PNP will give him, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a Palace media briefing.
Earlier, outgoing AFP chief-of-staff, Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr. said the AFP's decision was based on recommendations from Regional Peace and Order Councils, Commission on Elections, local government units and other agencies to extend martial law at least one year in Mindanao.
Given the support of martial law in Mindanao even by the Catholic bishop and the citizens there, the President may be persuaded to grant, approve the recommendation, Panelo said.
But of course, that's the prerogative of the President, he added.
Panelo said the safety of the people in Mindanao is always the basis of any extension of martial law.
If the threats remain and there is still an ongoing rebellion, then constitutionally, the basis would be valid for continuation of martial law, Panelo said.
Duterte placed Mindanao under martial law on May 23, 2017 following attacks launched by the terrorist Maute Group in Marawi City.
At the height of the six-month Marawi conflict in July last year, the House of Representatives granted Duterte's request for martial law extension until Dec. 31, 2017.
The House and the Senate granted anew the President's request for the extension of martial law and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus for a year, from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2018.
Panelo said it would still be up to the two houses of Congress whether or not to extend martial law.
Again, the Constitution grants them the authority to decide whether or not it will extend martial law. So, we leave it to them, Panelo said. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency i