MANILA – Without giving any details so as not to preempt President Rodrigo Duterte, the Department of National Defense (DND) said Sunday it has already forwarded its recommendation to the Chief Executive on whether or not to extend martial law in Marawi and the rest of Mindanao.
Submission took place last July 13, DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said in a statement Sunday. This is six days ahead of the 60-day martial law period (Proclamation No. 216) ends on July 22.
Martial law in Marawi and the rest of Mindanao was declared on May 23 following the attacks of Maute Group-led terrorists in the locality.
“We have submitted our position on martial law in Mindanao to the President,” the defense chief said. Lorenzana, however, did not give additional details so as not to preempt the President.
“We will have to wait for the President’s final decision on the matter. What I submitted to him was my recommendation from the security sector as Administrator of Martial Law in Mindanao after consulting with the CSAFP (Chief-of-Staff, Armed Forces of the Philippines) Gen. (Eduardo) Año. The President has a lot more to consider,” he said.
This includes inputs from the Department of Interior and Local Government and Philippine National Police, other government agencies and the people of Mindanao.
“I fully trust the President’s judgment on this whether he considers my recommendations or not,” the DND chief stated.
Lorenzana, who was also designated as Chairperson of Task Force “Bangon Marawi” to rebuild and rehabilitate Marawi, acknowledges that the work ahead after the fighting is even more daunting, considering the extent of damage to the city.
“While we have already begun laying the foundation for the reconstruction, recovery, and rehabilitation of Marawi City through community engagement, coordination with various agencies and making post disaster assessments, we earnestly look forward to the end of fighting because we want our Maranao brothers and sisters who have left their homes to go back, reconstitute their interrupted lives and partner with us on how we can best rebuild Marawi into a better and more beautiful city,” he added.
“There is still a lot of work to do but I am very confident that together, as one nation, we can all help Marawi rise up from the ashes of conflict and be a better place,” the DND chief pointed out.