De la Rosa wants martial law in Mindanao to be extended

  • Philippine troops ride on their truck on their way to the frontline in the outskirts of Marawi on the southern island of Mindanao on June 28, 2017. Islamist militants occupying parts of a southern Philippine city used a water route to bring in ammunition and evacuate wounded fighters, helping them withstand a five-week military offensive, the army said June 27. / AFP PHOTO / TED ALJIBE

The Philippine national police chief wants martial law in Mindanao to be extended, but within the legal framework, because the security situation there, in particular in Marawi City, is still critical, according to a report in The Manila Times Online on Wednesday.

The national police chief, Ronald de la Rosa, and Local Government Secretary Catalino Cuy briefed senators on law and order situation and concerns of local governments in Marawi City on Tuesday.

Among the senators presented at the close-door briefing were Senate President Aquilinoo Pimentel 3rd, Senate majority leader Vicente Sotto 3rd and senators Sherwin Gatchalian and Joseph Victor Ejercito.

Asked whether they discussed martial extension, de la Rosa said: “It is difficult to talk. I am not the Senate spokesman. I was asked personally what will be my recommendation based on my assessment of the situation.”

He said his recommendation was to extend the martial law “but within the legal framework and I will recommend the maximum (period).”

On Tuesday, Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla ruled out expanding the coverage of martial law.

“It never crossed the mind of the armed forces to raise martial law nationwide because there is no need for it anyway,” Padilla told the media.

The martial law will expire on July 23 or the day before President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his second state of the nation address.

Senate president Pimentel 3rd said any request to extend the martial law must come from the president.

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