Duterte mulls lifting martial law earlier
President Rodrigo Duterte said on Friday that he might lift the declaration of martial law in Mindanao earlier than scheduled.
"I was thinking that we could, you know, lift it earlier," Duterte said in a speech during the 11th founding anniversary celebration of the military's Eastern Mindanao Command in Davao City.
But he also cited the seeming spillover of atrocities in Buldon, Maguindano.
"The way it looks. There seemed to have a spillover in ARMM (Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao). In Buldon. Let us see. If it is to the interest of the country that I will lift it, I will lift it. But if not, then we'll just have to continue with the martial law," the President said.
Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao on May 23 shortly after the Islamic State-inspired militants attacked and started occupying Marawi City.
The imposition of martial law was initially to last for 60 days. But Duterte sought for its extension until end of the year to quell rebellion not only in Marawi but the whole southern Philippines before Congress which granted his request on July 22
Government troopers continue to pursue the terrorists in Marawi.
Duterte said he is leaving to the military and to the police how to finally solve the rebellion in Marawi.
But he reiterated to the government troops not to bombard the mosque where the militants could have been hiding.
Otherwise, "it would take a long, long time for us to justify it or never at all," he said. Celerina Monte/DMS