President Rodrigo Duterte said he would heed the recommendation of the military and the police on whether he should lift martial law in Mindanao, where it has been in force since 2017.
“I will leave it to the military and the police to make the recommendation. Martial law is a military thing and it’s their assessment or their evaluation of the Mindanao situation,” President Duterte told Palace reporters in a press conference Tuesday night.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana earlier said he was not inclined to recommend another extension of martial law in Mindanao, which would expire on Dec. 31.
“If the Defense secretary says that it’s no longer needed, I’ll wait also for the statement of the military and the police. Then I will decide,” Duterte said.
Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao in May 2017 after the Islamic-State inspired Maute group overran parts of Marawi City, Lanao del Sur.
Even after the city was liberated on Oct. 17, 2017, Duterte sought an extension for the whole 2018, and another until the end of 2019.
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