General ‘Bato’ in favor of Martial Law extension, but not 5 years

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Philippine National Police Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa is in favor of martial law extension in Mindanao, although not up to five years.

“Basta ako kung tatanungin ako, extend pa,”  dela Rosa said at a press briefing on Tuesday at Camp Crame in Quezon City. [If I were to be asked, extend it.]

Dela Rosa said he has discussed the matter with the Armed Forces chief of staff Eduardo Año wherein he said he was inclined to ask for extension, but for a 60-day extension only.

“May usapan naman kami ni General Año. I’m inclined to ask for extension pero hindi naman iyung 5 years, 60-60 na lang muna,” he said.

Dela Rosa and Año will brief President Rodrigo Duterte about the situation in Marawi City. The President himself said that he will decide on whether to extend the 60-day military rule in Mindanao based on the two officials’ reports.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday afternoon, Dela Rosa visited the Senate to urge senators to extend martial law after two months of clashes between the military and a terrorist force in Marawi City.

The president must seek approval from the both chambers of the Congress if he wishes to extend martial law beyond its 60-day limit under the 1987 charter. Duterte’s martial law declaration will end on July 22, if not extended.