Duterte calls for special session of Congress to consider extending martial law in Mindanao
President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered a special session of Congress at 9 am Saturday to consider the extension of martial law in Mindanao.
Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said Monday the call for a special session by Duterte “is necessitated by the exigency to deliberate on the possible extension of the period of effectivity of Proclamation 216 which will end next week.”
“Congress has to discuss and consider the actual parameters too extend martial law and suspension of the writ of habeas corpus,” added Abella.
In a separate text message, Majority Leader Rudy Farinas said this will be a joint session with the Senate "for the Congress to consider the initiative of the president to extend martial law."
The session coincides with the end of Duterte's 60-day imposition of martial law in Mindanao on May 23. Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao on the day the Maute-Abu Sayyaf Group attacked Marawi City.
A few days before the 60-day period lapses, the military has not totally cleared Marawi City and hundreds of thousands are in evacuation centers in Iligan City.
The defense department, military and the police have given their recommendations to Duterte. Only the Philippine National Police has said they favor extending martial law.
Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat said "there should be more time for us to be appraised by the AFP or Malacanang of the situation in Marawi in the entire island of Mindanao before we even consider an extension."
Baguilat said if the military can prove that martial law eased the situation but they are not in control of the situation, "then maybe I will agree to extend martial law but in Marawi or Lanao."
Anakpawis Partylist Rep. Ayik Casilao said their group "will consistently register our opposition if ever the president requests Congress for the extension of martial law." DMS