AFP: TOO EARLY TO CALL FOR ML EXTENSION IN MINDANAO
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MANILA -- It is still premature to recommend the extension of martial law in Mindanao, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr. said Wednesday.
"Sa ngayon, ongoing assessment natin (For now, our assessment is ongoing). We will visit Western Mindanao and Eastern Mindanao in the next few weeks (as part of the assessment)," Galvez stressed.
While noting that it is still too early to make any sort of recommendation, the AFP chief said he is happy with the support given by various sectors regarding the issue.
"But I’m so happy that Sen. (Sherwin) Gatchalian, the PNP and also even the religious are recommending for the extension of martial law. We are very happy considering that it means that our soldiers are very professional. We are also very happy that our stakeholders are satisfied that we are implementing martial law to the fullest of our capability as a professional Armed Forces," Galvez noted.
Earlier, Malacañang said it would depend on the recommendation of the AFP 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, 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)