Extend martial law in Mindanao, AFP, PNP ask Duterte

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Lorenzana serves as administrator of martial law implementation in Marawi and the rest of Mindanao.

Senators are expected to have a separate closed-door briefing from security officials this week on the situation in Marawi City, where the military continues to smoke out the Maute terrorists.

In recommending for the extension of martial law, dela Rosa said they enumerated several reasons.

"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 attractive city", Lorenzana said.

But Senate minority leader Franklin Drilon warned that an extension must not exceed the original 60-day period provided by the 1987 Constitution.

Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat, who petitioned against martial law in the Supreme Court, said the session should have been declared earlier.

"It is precisely of our system of checks and balances that the duration of any declaration of martial law has been limited, and that any possible extension is subject to review and deliberation of Congress in joint session", he said. Congress must hold a joint session to either revoke or extend this period.

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Lorenzana said they have also submitted their position on martial rule to Duterte, but he declined to say whether they moved for its extension, pending the Commander in Chief's decision.

As of 6 p.m. of July 16, the government has reported casualties of 45 civilians, 405 Islamist militants, and 97 government forces amid the continuing armed conflict in Marawi City.

The military said only around 60 to 70 Maute members remain to be defeated in Marawi.

"If AFP proves martial law helped and they just could not fully control the situation, I might even agree to it", Baguilat said.

Dela Rosa said their recommendation still covers the whole area of Mindanao.

"This shows a big significance as their capabilities have been lessened as well as their presence", he said.

He added that there should be enough discussion and Martial Law should not be "forcibly passed on the same day".

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