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Palace justifies Martial Law extension in Mindanao

Malacanang on Saturday justified the proposed extension of Martial Law in Mindanao to guarantee the safety and security of the people there, particularly during the rehabilitation of war-torn Marawi City.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Jr. said in a press briefing in Zamboanga City that a Martial Law extension would sufficiently address the continued threats of terrorism and extremism in the region.

Roque said the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) would submit its recommendation on martial law extension to President Rodrigo Duterte next week.

He said the President would allow the two Houses of Congress to deliberate on the proposal before they adjourn for the Christmas break.

“I have had prior consultations with the Armed Forces. The recommendation will be submitted by next week, so the President will make a decision, if not next week, then the week after,” Roque said.

Roque said the President was expected to make his decision also by next week or the following week, to allow Congress to discuss the measure before it suspends the session.

“All those involved in Bangon Marawi think the people will feel safer if the President will exercise his power as Commander-in-Chief,” Roque said.

At the same time, Roque accused the opposition of riding on the issue of the supposed creation of a revolutionary government to sow fear among people.

“Why would an elected President resort to a revolutionary government without any reason? He would only declare it to save a dying republic, which is not happening today,” he said.

In the case of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), Roque said Malacanang was contemplating on a better and more inclusive version of this proposed law to end the Muslim rebellion.

He said the new version would include proposals from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF),  the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), and the Lumads in the region. #