Military recommends extension of martial law in Mindanao

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte discusses matters with Kingdom of Cambodia Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhon who paid a courtesy call on the President in Malacañan Palace

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte discusses matters with Kingdom of Cambodia Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhon who paid a courtesy call on the President in Malacañan Palace

Martial law, together with the air strikes, was the reason why they fled Marawi in the early days of the Maute siege.

The political oppositionists in the 24-member Senate made their stand known following a recommendation of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police (PNP) that martial law be extended in the whole of Mindanao for one year.

"I do not have the details as to the length but as far as I am concerned there is a recommendation to similarly support the recommendation of Philippine National Police", AFP Spokesperson Restituto Padilla said in a news briefing in Malacañang on Friday. A similar recommendation to extend it was submitted by the police, he said.

Padilla, however, said the threat from the Abu Sayyaf had been significantly reduced that there have been no recent kidnappings of foreign sailors from vessels passing through the country's southern waters.

Padilla said martial law needs to stay also due to possible attacks by the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), the New People's Army (NPA), and other Abu Sayyaf forces in Mindanao.

The NPA, along with its mother organization Communist Party of the Philippines, were recently declared by Duterte as a terrorist organization. This will be official once approved by a regional trial court, according to the Human Security Act of 2007.

Martial law in Mindanao is set to end on December 31.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte will make a decision before December 15 whether to lift or ask for martial law extension before Congress. Congress, which has to give consent, will go on recess on the 15th.

Aside from Drilon, the other members of the opposition group are Senators Risa Hontiveros, Paolo Benigno Aquino IV, Francis Pangilinan and Antonio F. Trillanes IV.

President Rodrigo Duerte declared Mindanao under martial law on May 23, shortly after fighting broke out between government forces and extremist gunmen in Marawi City.

"After the pronounced liberation of Marawi and the announced focus on rehabilitation and trade, what will be the role of the people of Marawi in the planning and rehabilitation of their city?"