Martial law still needed in Mindanao as ‘many threats’ remain, says military spokesman


THE Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) recommended the extension of martial law in the entire Mindanao because of the “many threats” still facing the region, its spokesman said on Friday.

“The basis for the extension or the declaration of a martial law previously (is) the many threats that we still face in the island of Mindanao,” Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla Jr. said in a press briefing in Malacanang.

He also said that the military recommendation was to “similarly” back the Philippine National Police (PNP), which had proposed to President Rodrigo Duterte to extend martial rule for a period of one year.

Padilla said, however, that he was “not privy” to other details as the military’s recommendation was “separate and different from the recommendation of the police.”

“The recommendation, I don’t have the details of as to the length, but as far as I am concerned, there is a recommendation to similarly support the recommendation of the Philippine National Police,” Padilla said.

“But I am not privy to the whole report and I am not at liberty to discuss whatever it is that has been placed in the recommendation, until such time that the decision has been made. It is for Mindanao area,” he added.

Duterte declared a 60-day martial law in Mindanao on May 23 after militants professing allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) laid siege to Marawi City.

When the initial military rule lapsed after 60 days, the President ordered its extension until December 31, citing the continued activities of IS supporters and sympathizers in several areas in Mindanao.

After the retaking of Marawi last October, Duterte said he would await recommendation from the AFP and the PNP so that he could decide whether or not to keep Mindanao under martial law.

The declaration is supposed to end on December 31.


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