Solon wants 6-month ML extension in Mindanao

MANILAA resolution seeking to extend martial law in Mindanao until June 2019 has been filed at the House of Representatives.

Iligan City Rep. Frederick Siao filed on Nov. 14 House Resolution 2302, urging President Rodrigo Duterte to extend martial law all over Mindanao for another six months after December 2018that is from January 1 to June 30, 2019to maintain the peace and order in the southern region. A copy of the resolution was released to House media on Monday.

Siao cited initial reports of terrorist plots and the need to secure the May 2019 elections as reasons for another martial rule extension.

It is urgently imperative that government authority must ensure peace, orderly, and honest May 2019 elections in Mindanao, including and especially in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region and adjacent regions, to secure the integrity of the ballots and safety of voters and elections personnel and to ensure that the duly-elected officials are installed, Siao said in his resolution.

Siao also noted "sporadic incidents of violence" including a deadly ambush in Lanao del Sur in which five agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency were killed.

"The ISIS, their collaborators among lawless armed groups, and the illegal drugs networks operating in Mindanao want to sow terror in pursuit of their twisted objectives," the Mindanaoan lawmaker said in a separate statement.

"After the elected officials assume office, the martial law can end, and the Philippine National Police can reassume peace and order responsibilities in Mindanao and with the civilian elected officials by their side," Siao added.

Earlier, MalacaAang said it would depend on the recommendation of the Armed Forces of the Philippines on whether or not martial law will be extended after the end of the year.

Martial law in Mindanao was declared on May 23, 2017 following attacks launched by the Maute Group in Marawi City.

The House of Representatives, in a special joint session in July last year, granted the extension of martial law until Dec. 31, 2017 at the President's request.

The Senate and House of Representatives, convening in a joint session early December, later granted the Chief Executive's request for the extension of martial law and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus for a period of one year from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2018. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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