Duterte to ask Congress to extend martial law in S.Philippines

Source: Xinhua| 2017-12-10 20:00:38|Editor: Lifang
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MANILA, Dec. 10 (Xinhua) -- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will ask the Congress for a one-year extension of martial law in the southern Philippine Mindanao island, his ally in the House of Representatives said on Sunday.

Philippine Lawmaker Rodolfo Farinas, also the House of Representatives majority leader, said that Duterte's office is expected to send a letter to both the House and Senate on Monday to formally inform Congress about the request for a one-year extension of martial rule in Mindanao.

Farinas said the House leadership will take up the issue and confer with their Senate counterparts.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has recommended to Duterte to extend martial law in the southern Philippine Mindanao region for another year, a military official said on Thursday.

Duterte imposed a 60-day martial law in the southern region in May when Islamist extremists laid siege to Marawi City triggering a five-month war between government security forces and the pro-Islamic State (IS) militants.

Fierce fighting broke out as Philippine forces retook the city from the clutches of the militants, prompting Duterte to ask Congress in July to extend the military rule to Dec. 31 this year.

Philippine legislators voted overwhelmingly to extend the martial law until Dec. 31 to give more time to crush the Islamist insurgents and destroy their terror network that plans to establish a caliphate in the southern Philippine region.

The government finally gained control of the city in October. More than 1,100 people were killed in the battle, which reduced the city into rubbles.

The 1987 Constitution only allows the Philippine president to declare martial law for a maximum of 60 days. Any extension would require approval from Congress.