MANILA Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Wednesday said police and military officials have the final say in assessing the security situation and in making recommendations on the extension of martial law in Mindanao.
We have no reason to doubt the truthfulness of the reports of our armed forces on the continued existence of rebellion and the requirement of public safety in Mindanao, Guevarra told reporters.
For as long as the factual basis subsists, the DOJ supports the further extension of martial law in Mindanao, he added.
In a joint session, the Senate and the House of Representatives for the third time granted President Rodrigo Duterte's request for the extension of martial law and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao for a period of one year, from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2019.
Last year, the Supreme Court turned down appeals against its ruling on the declaration of martial law in Mindanao in a suit filed by opposition lawmakers and Mindanao residents.
President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao on May 23, 2017, after Maute terrorists attacked Marawi City.
On July 22, 2017, the 60-day period lapsed, and Congress approved a request from the President to extend martial law until the end of the 2017.
In another joint session on Dec. 13, 2017, lawmakers approved the President's request for a year-long extension of martial law in the region until the end of 2018. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency