ML extension up to Duterte

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DEFENSE  Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Sunday said he has submitted his assessment on the implementation of martial law to President Rodrigo Duterte, who will then decide military rule in Mindanao should be extended.

“I have submitted my recommendation. Let us wait what the President will decide,” Lorenzana told Manila Standard in a text message. 

Duterte is expected to announce a decision on the extension of the martial law in Mindanao before it lapses on July 22, or two days before his second State of the Nation Address. 

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana

Duterte placed Mindanao under martial law following the attack of the Maute group in Marawi City on May 23.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon on Sunday said that any extension of martial law must not exceed the original 60-day period as provided by the 1987 Constitution.

“We cannot have an unlimited or ‘unli’- martial law in Mindanao,” Drilon, a former Justice secretary, said in an interview with dzBB radio.

“Given that the 1987 Constitution places utmost importance on our systems of checks and balances, any notion of perpetual or even a five-year martial law rule in any part of the country can never be allowed under the fundamental law,” he said.

“Any declaration of Martial Law must be regularly reviewed, since it is the spirit of the present Constitution that that specific power of the President must be subject to a regular review. It should never be perpetual or even too long,” he said.

In a statement issued by the Defense department, Lorenzana, chairman of the Task Force Bangon Marawi to rebuild and rehabilitate the war-torn city, said the work ahead after the fighting is even more daunting given the extent of damage done to the city.

“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 rebuild Marawi into a better and more beautiful city,” Lorenzana said.

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