Duterte sending Congress martial law extension request on Dec. 11

December 10, 2017 - 7:43 PM
Damaged houses and buildings are seen inside war-torn Marawi City. KJ ROSALES / Philstar

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte will formally ask Congress to extend martial law in Mindanao on Monday, December 11.

Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas said Sunday that Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea informed him that the letter requesting the extension was signed by the President.

“We will have to discuss it with our Senate counterparts,” Fariñas said.

The extension of martial law needs the approval of Congress sitting in joint session.

Congress has only three days to act on the request. It will go on break starting December 14, and will return in mid-January. Within the break the martial law period – previously extended already with Congress approval – lapses on Dec. 31, 2017.

Congress approved a resolution in July 22 this year extending for five months Duterte’s Proclamation No. 216, which imposed a 60-day martial rule in Mindanao on May 23 amid terrorist attacks by the Islamic State-inspired Maute, who laid siege to Marawi City for four months.

The 1987 Constitution requires any extension of martial rule to be approved by Congress. The extension of the original proclamation is in effect until December 31, 2017.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police earlier recommended that martial law be in place in Mindanao beyond this year.