By Roy C. Mabasa
Malacañang yesterday released a copy of President Duterte’s letter to Congress requesting the extension of martial law in Mindanao for another year, citing threats from Islamic State-inspired groups and communist rebels.
In the letter addressed to Senate President Koko Pimentel and House Speaker Pantaleon D. Alvarez, Duterte justified that a further extension of martial law and the suspension of the Writ of Habeas Corpus in Mindanao will help the military and the police and all other law enforcement agencies to “quell completely and put an end to the ongoing rebellion on Mindanao and prevent the same from escalating from other parts of the country.”
“Public safety indubitably requires such further extension, not only for the sake of security and public order, but more importantly to enable the government and the people of Mindanao to pursue the bigger task of rehabilitation and the promotion of a stable socio-economic growth and development,” Duterte said in the letter dated Dec. 8, 2017.
Duterte said martial law administrator Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana recommended a one-year extension of martial law to “ensure total eradication of the Daesh-inpsired Da’awatul Islamiyah Waliyatul Masriq, other like-minded local and foreign terror groups and armed lawless groups, the communist terrorists and their coddlers, supporters, and financiers.”
The Chief Executive said the recommendation was based on the security assessment made by the Armed Forces and a separate evaluation from the Philippine National Police.