Philippine president asks Congress to keep martial law until end


The Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) submitted to Duterte on Monday is the culmination of a rocky 20-year peace process between the government of the predominantly Christian Philippines and the Muslim separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

Presidential spokesperson Ernesto C. Abella, for his part, also said on Monday that Mr. Duterte is already set to study the recommendations.

The positive public response indicates that they believe the factual and legal basis of the proclamation of martial law for Mindanao, which includes the Maute Group's attempt to remove allegiance from the government and to deprive the Chief Executive of his powers to enforce the laws and maintain public order and safety.

Duterte has called Congress to a special session on Saturday, July 22, the 60th and last day of Proclamation No. 216's effectivity, and will ask legislators to extend the declaration he made on May 23, soon after fighting broke out between extremist gunmen and government forces.

Duterte hopes the promise of autonomy will persuade Filipino Muslims to reject the Islamic State group, whose followers still control parts of Marawi after almost two months of fighting that had left more than 500 people dead.

The constitution limits martial rule to 60 days, a safeguard against abuses put in place after the downfall of the Ferdinand Marcos dictatorship.

Abella, during the Mindanao Hour press briefing yesterday morning, said the primary consideration of the President on making the decision on the fate of martial law will be the existence of threat to public safety especially in concerned areas.

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"'Di pa po (I haven't read it yet)".

"I am for this", Duterte said to applause from officials and the rebels, who came in business suits. "I will support and hasten this instrument as it goes to the legislature", Duterte said in a ceremony for the handover of the bill, drawing loud applause.

"Basta maghintay na yan sila dyan (They will just have to wait)".

On Sunday, troops cleared 50 more buildings and houses after clashes that left eight fighters and two soldiers dead, military chief of staff General Eduardo Ano told reporters. "What the use of declaring?" "The President has a lot more to consider", Lorenzana said.

"We can not disclose our recommendation because 'yung sa amin, military aspect lang 'yun (ours is only the military aspect)", he said.

Other factors that President Duterte will weigh are the reports of other agencies of the government, including that from the Department of Interior and Local Government and the Philippine National Police, he added.

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