The martial law declaration in Mindanao will not yet be lifted by President Duterte despite a year after the deadly terror siege in Marawi City.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said martial law proclamation would only be revoked once there is no more need for such security measure.
“Walang gusto magkaroon ng [No one wants] martial law beyond the necessity of having martial law. So the Palace would like to assure the public that the moment the need for martial law ceases, it will be lifted,” Roque said in a media interview.
“But certainly one year after the siege, the time to lift martial law is not yet here. So it will be lifted as long as there is no need for martial law,” he added.
The Liberal Party earlier called on the Duterte administration to lift martial law, which allowed warrantless arrests, in Mindanao due to the absence of a rebellion in the south.
President Duterte placed Mindanao under martial law on May 23, 2017 following the attack of the Islamic State-inspired Maute group on Marawi City. The proclamation was extended until the end of the year supposedly to suppress lawless violence and rebellion in Mindanao.
The President, meantime, did not attend any commemorative activity of the first anniversary of the Marawi siege Wednesday. Roque explained there was no need to commemorate the terror siege, that left hundreds dead and displaced thousands of families.