Duterte asks Congress for 1-year martial law extension

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has asked Congress for a 3rd extension of martial law in Mindanao, said Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.

If lawmakers approve of this, Mindanao will be under martial law until December 31, 2019. 

Medialdea confirmed on Friday, December 7, that the President already made the request.

"One year and Mindanao," Medialdea told Rappler when asked for the length of time requested by Duterte and the geographic scope of the requested extension.

Duterte's decision to ask for another martial law extension comes after a small meeting with officials on Tuesday, December 4, when he had approved "in principle" the recommendation of his top security officials for a one-year extension covering Mindanao.

The military, police, and Department of National Defense were united in making this recommendation, submitted to Duterte on Tuesday.

Officials have said that martial law may help ensure a peaceful Bangsamoro law plebiscite on January 21, 2019, and May 2019 elections.

The martial law currently in effect in Mindanao was supposed to lapse on December 31, after being in place for one year.

If Congress grants Duterte's request, this will be 3rd martial law extension.

The first extension was granted by Congress as the 60-day period for Duterte's first martial law declaration, in light of the Marawi siege, was about to expire. Congress had given him a 5-month extension.

His second request, this time for a one-year extension, was again granted in December 2017.  Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.