THE extension of martial law is actually "deemed accepted."
Malacañang yesterday said the Armed Forces of the Philippines' (AFP) proposal to extend
military rule in Mindanao until next year is actually deemed approved, and will only have to be
formalized by President Rodrigo Duterte.
Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar was reacting to a statement from AFP
spokesman Major General Restituto Padilla that the military might have to request another extension to
address remaining threats in southern Philippines from the Abu Sayyaf, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom
Fighters, and other armed extremists.
"The decision of the Armed Forces or the recommendation of the Armed Forces of the Philippines
is actually accepted, well, but then again, it will be the President who will decide," Andanar said.
Andanar said he respected Padilla's wisdom on the situation and how best to bring peace back
to the strife-torn city.
"Sila naman talaga ang nakakaalam sa mga ganyang subject, pagdating sa pakay ng national
security. And they have all the reason to give their thoughts because ang pinakamahalaga talaga sa
lahat eh ang seguridad ng bawat Pilipino," he said.
Duterte placed Mindanao under martial law in May after the ISIS-inspired Maute group attacked
Marawi City, an assault that escalated into a five-month armed fighting between the terrorist group
and government forces.
Last month, Duterte declared Marawi liberated from the Maute, following the death of two top
leaders of the Marawi siege. Martial law, however, was not lifted and will remain in effect until the
end of December, after having been extended from July.