- Palace thanked Congress for extending martial law in Mindanao until December 31
- Presidential spokesperson said gov’t committed to help Mindanao recover and develop
- He also urged public to cooperate, help the administration
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang Palace expressed its gratitude to Congress for granting President Rodrigo Duterte’s request to extend martial law in Mindanao until December 31; saying it is important to neutralize the threat posed by the Maute group and other lawless elements.
“We thank Congress for approving the extension of martial law until December 31, 2017,” ABS-CBN quoted presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella as saying. “The extension of martial law is essential to the overall peace and stability. The rebellion in Marawi continues to persist and we want to stop the spread of the evil ideology of terrorism and free the people of Mindanao from the tyranny of lawlessness and violent extremism.”
Saying the government remains committed to rebuilding and developing Mindanao, Abella is urging both the public and private sectors to help the administration achieve its goal.
“There is much work to be done to bring back public safety and law and order in the whole island of Mindanao. There is much work to be done in the recovery, reconstruction and rehabilitation of Marawi,” he said. “Together, let us transform Mindanao into a land of fulfillment.”
Voting 261-18, Congress allowed another five months of martial rule over Mindanao after Duterte explained that he needed that much time to defeat the Mautes and their allies.
Out of the 261, 245 came from the House of Representatives and while the rest were senators. The 18 oppositors comprised 4 senators and 14 representatives.
Marawi City has been the epicenter of a protracted conflict between government forces and the Maute group since May 23.
While officials say the militants’ numbers are dwindling, dislodging them from the remaining areas they control have been difficult due to their knowledge of the terrain.