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Duterte gets AFP, PNP take on martial law extension

By Mario J. Mallari and Ted Tuvera

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) have asked President Rodrigo Duterte to extend martial law in Mindanao, national police chief Ronald de la Rosa yesterday confirmed.
At a press conference, he said they submitted a position paper to the Commander-in-Chief “expressing our stand on extending the martial law.”
De la Rosa, however, stressed the PNP did not include the duration of the martial law extension.
“We have a position paper that we submitted last Friday expressing our stand on extending the martial law, but we did not put a period up to when. But we are for the extension,” he added.
The PNP chief stressed their recommendation did not expand the coverage of the military rule and remained within Mindanao.
On Sunday, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said they have also submitted their position on the martial rule to Mr. Duterte, but he declined to say whether they moved for its extension, pending the President’s decision.
According to him, they submitted their recom-mendation to the Commander-in-Chief on Thursday last week.
Mr. Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao last May 23 immediately after the Islamic State-inspired terrorists, led by Isnilon Hapilon and the Maute group, laid siege to Marawi City.
The martial law will expire on July 23, but leaders of the House of Representatives said earlier they were favoring its extension.

Under the Constitution, martial law stays in place for a maximum of 60 days – or July 22 in this case. Should Duterte want it extended, he must secure the approval of Congress.
Lorenzana said they were leaving it up to the President to decide, but assured the military can be relied upon to implement and carry out the order should Mr. Duterte move for the extension.
“We will have to wait for the President’s final decision on the matter. What I submitted to him was my recommendation from the security sector as administrator of Martial Law in Mindanao after consulting with the CSAFP (Chief-of-Staff, Armed Forces of the Philippines) Gen. (Eduardo) Año. The President has a lot more to consider,” he stressed.
These includes inputs from the Department of Interior and Local Government and PNP, other government agencies and the people of Mindanao.
Lorenzana, who was also designated as head of Task Force “Bangon Marawi” to rebuild and rehabilitate Marawi, acknowledged that the work ahead after the fighting is even more daunting, considering the extent of damage to the city.
“While we have already begun laying the foundation for the reconstruction, recovery, and rehabilitation of Marawi City through community engagement, coordination with various agencies and making post disaster assessments, we earnestly look forward to the end of fighting because we want our Maranao brothers and sisters who have left their homes to go back, reconstitute their interrupted lives and partner with us on how we can best rebuild Marawi into a better and more beautiful city,” he added.
“There is still a lot of work to do but I am very confident that together, as one nation, we can all help Marawi rise up from the ashes of conflict and be a better place,” the DND chief pointed out.
In recommending the extension of the martial law, de la Rosa said they pointed out to Mr. Duterte several reasons.
“Number one, those identified narco-politicans who are believed to be supporting the cause of the Maute are still at large. We still have to account them, we should arrest them first,” he stressed.
The two arrest orders issued by Lorenzana as the administrator of the Martial Law identified more than 200 members, followers and supporters of the Maute-IS Group whom security forces were tasked to arrest.
The individuals included politicians from Mindanao, led by former Marawi City Mayor Fajad Salic, who was arrested after the issuance of the arrest orders. Also nabbed were Cayamora Maute and Farhana Romato-Maute, the parents of Omarkhayam and Abdullah Maute – the leaders of the IS-inspired Maute group.
Malacañang, for its part, confirmed that top Defense and security officials have submitted their recommendation to the President.
“The Department of National Defense has submitted its recommendation on martial law to the President last Thursday, July 13. The President will go through and will make a decision on the matter,” presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella told a press briefing.
He added Mr. Duterte will also have to listen to what other sectors have to say when it comes to either protracting or lifting martial law.
“As we all know, the President listens and he considers the position not only of the military and of the police, but also the interests of vital stakeholders,” Abella stressed.
‘Wisdom of the President’
At the House of Representatives, at least two officials of the lower chamber said their colleagues would most likely throw their support behind the President should he request for an extension of martial law in Mindanao. With PNA

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