Duterte won't extend martial law in Mindanao after expiration on Dec. 31, says Palace
President Rodrigo Duterte has decided not to extend martial law in Mindanao after it expires by the end of this year as terrorists and extremist rebellion have weakened, Malacanang said on Tuesday.
"The Office of the President wishes to announce that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is not extending martial law; it will expire on December 31st, 2019," Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a press briefing.
He said Duterte came out with a decision based on the assessment of the security forces and the defense advisers that "the terrorists and extremist rebellion have been weakened as well as the defense advisers that the terrorists and extremist rebellion have been weakened as a result of the capture or neutralization of their leaders."
He also cited the report about the decline in the index crime.
Panelo assured Mindanao residents the government is ready to address threats in the region.
"The people of Mindanao rest assured that any insipient major threat in Mindanao will be nipped in the bud even without martial law," he said.
Panelo, also the chief presidential legal counsel, said there is no need for the President to issue any document regarding the non-extension of martial law once it ends on December 31.
Duterte declared martial law in entire Mindanao on May 23, 2017, after the Maute-ISIS terrorists occupied Marawi City.
The imposition was initially for 60 days.
But Duterte, with the concurrence of Congress, extended it for three times, citing rebellion that continued to exist in Mindanao.
The city government of Davao led by Mayor Sara Duterte earlier sent a letter to Malacanang, asking the President to lift martial law in his hometown as peace and order situation has already. The local government also admitted that the business climate in the city has been affected due to martial law. Celerina Monte/DMS