MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) has recommended to President Rodrigo Duterte that martial law in Mindanao be extended for one year.
"We have endorsed to PRRD (President Rodrigo Roa Duterte) the recommendation of the PNP for a one-year extension of martial law in Mindanao," Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Public Information Assistant Secretary Jonathan Malaya told Rappler in a text message on Thursday, December 7.
Martial law has been in place in Mindanao since May 23 – over 6 months ago – prompted by the Marawi siege. It is supposed to end on December 31. (READ: The war in Marawi: 153 days and more )
According to Malaya, DILG Officer-in-Charge Catalino Cuy told them that the PNP's recommendation is based on two things:
There is still need to address "continuing threats of terrorists or extremist groups" in Mindanao, such as the "remnants of Maute-Islamic State (ISIS) groups". They have yet to be neutralized.
To "facilitate Marawi rehabilitation which is a top priority of the Duterte administration." The government needs a better grip on the territory to ensure swift recovery.
Malaya said, "If there is continuing threat, the rehab efforts will be stifled or hampered. Spending billions on rehab might be rendered useless if the radical extremist groups are not completely neutralized."
This comes over a month after the Marawi siege was declared over, following the killing of the leaders of the homegrown terrorist group – Omar Maute and Isnilon Hapilon.
Marawi has since then shifted to recovery as hundreds of thousands remain displaced from a home city reduced to ruins. – Rappler.com