2 senators willing to support martial law extension

MANILA-- Two senators on Wednesday said they are inclined to support the possible extension of martial law in Mindanao but are hopeful that it will be limited in scope.

In a Kapihan press conference, Senate Majority Vicente Sotto III said that while he agreed martial law should be extended, he believed it should be limited to Lanao del Sur and not the entire Mindanao.

He said Pres. Duterte can re-declare martial law on July 23, when the declaration lapses.

However, he said that the Senate should first hold a meeting and be briefed by national security officials on updates to the situation in Marawi City.

Sen. Joseph Victor Ejercito, in a separate press conference, said that he is also inclined to support an extension as long as it is not too long and that they can crush the Maute group in the period they are asking for.

He said that he sees a month or two as an ideal extension.

If they can guarantee that they can finish operations in a month or two we can grant it. I'm inclined to vote for it, Ejercito said.

He said that he understood the situation of the Maranaos noting that the general sentiment is that they are for martial law and wondered why people from Metro Manila were against it.

Moreover, he said that he understood how difficult it was for the military to contain and identify the rebels given the terrain of Mindanao.

The senator also said that it is important to note that there were no reports of abuses or atrocities committed by members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for the duration martial law was declared.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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