The Philippine military will recommend the extension of martial law in the country’s conflict-wracked southern region for at least one more year to fight terrorism, the chief of the armed forces said yesterday.
The southern region of Mindanao has been under martial rule since May 2017 after Islamic State-allied militants laid siege on the southern city of Marawi, triggering a five-month battle that left more than 1,200 people dead.
Congress has extended martial rule in Mindanao until December 31 this year.
“There is really a clamour for the extension, considering that terrorism is still lurking in the area,” said General Carlito Galvez Junior, armed forces chief of staff, citing a spate of bombings in Mindanao in August.
“There is really a need to constrict and limit the manoeuvre space of the terrorist to the maximum,” he added.
“We have a very weak terrorism law so with that, martial law is needed to completely defeat terrorism.”
Galvez said the military was recommending the extension for “at least one year” only in Mindanao, noting, “It will not be expanded.” Duterte first declared 60 days of martial law in Mindanao on May 23, 2017.
In July, Congress extended the declaration until December 31, 2017 at Duterte’s request to give troops more time to defeat the militants.
At the end of the first extension, Duterte again sought more time for martial law and Congress approved for the declaration to be effective until the end of this year.
The Marawi siege left the municipality in ruins and displaced more than half a million people. Over a year later, nearly 70,000 residents were still displaced and the main commercial area of the city has yet to be rehabilitated.
LEAVE A COMMENT Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*
Ex-policeman kills 37 in Thai nursery attack
Thai vegetarian festival returns after Covid-19 hiatus
At least 12 sailors die of suspected food poisoning on ship off Vietnam
Passenger wounded as Myanmar rebels shoot airliner
Vietnam orders mass evacuations ahead of Super Typhoon Noru
Philippines evacuates coasts, cancels sea trips as supertyphoon nears
Two dead in shooting at Thai military facility
President Marcos defends father’s martial law legacy
Volunteers lead desperate bid to reach PNG quake victims