Congress Approves Martial Law Extension In Mindanao
President Duterte’s request to extend the martial law in Mindanao has been already approved by Congress until the end of 2017.
On May 23, 2017, Mr. Duterte has proclaimed a 60-day martial law throughout the entire Mindanao region after the Marawi Terror Group attacked Marawi City and fought back the government forces. It was declared to control the chaotic situation in the city.
The ongoing conflict in the beleaguered city severely affected its residents who were forced to leave their homes as they fear for their lives. The 60-day martial law proclaimed by the president will expire on Sunday (July 23, 2017).
On Saturday (July 22, 2017), Congress has already approved the extension of martial law in Mindanao, which will last for five months or until December 31, 2017. Duterte’s request has been granted before his proclamation expires.
On the Senate, 16 members voted for the martial law extension in Mindanao, while 4 votes opposed the proposal. Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, and Senators Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, and Risa Hontiveros were the members who opposed.
About 245 votes from the House of Representatives voted for the extension of the martial law in the south, while 14 votes were against it.
The members of the Congress has granted the request of President Duterte after the debate regarding the coverage of the martial law extension. The Congress approved that it would be extended for five more months or even until the end of the year.
Some lawmakers opposed the five-month extension and said that it has no factual basis, so it should be limited up to 60 days. They also cited that almost 400 out of the 600 members of the militants were already eliminated.
General Eduardo Año, the chief of staff in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said that the martial law extension is required to restrict the movement of the extremist’s group. He also recommends that the ruling should be extended until the end of 2017.
“We have this ongoing rebellion. In Marawi, ito lang ang napili nila. It could be other cities In Mindanao. If you will see, nagcontribute po ang Abu Sayyaf sa Sulu, Basilan, Maguindanao at ‘yung Maute, kaya umabot sila ng 666, pero ang totoong bilang po niyan ay 1,200 plus,” said by Año quoted by GMA.
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