by Genalyn D. Kabiling
Strong opposition from other branches of government in case President Duterte decides to seek an extension of martial law in Mindanao is unlikely, a Palace official said yesterday.
Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said both the legislature and the Supreme Court have already expressed support for the President’s martial law proclamation to address the security threats in the South.
“Nakita naman natin na sinuportahan ng Kongreso, sinuportahan ng Senado, sinuportahan din ng Judiciary, ng Korte Suprema. So lahat co-equal branch of government ay nagkaisa sa deklarasyon ng martial law at naniniwala sila na ito ay karapat-dapat lamang sa isla ng Mindanao,” Andanar said.
“Sa palagay ko kung kailangan itong palawigain pa ito hindi na magkakaproblema, lalo na kung ang pinag-uusapan natin ay tungkol sa Mindanao, kung nandiyan pa rin,” he said.
So far, Andanar said the military operations against the militants in Marawi have been progressing, adding they all hope the conflict will be over soon. “Wala naman may gusto ng giyera. Hindi lang natin masabi kung kailan matatapos,” he said.
“Lahat tayo gusto matapos ito sa mas madaling panahon,” Andanar added.
The President has declared he would not lift martial law before his State-of-the-Nation Address on July 24. Duterte said he would still rely on the recommendation of the military on whether or not to lift or extend the martial rule in the South. He said he does not have an “independent study” on the situation on the ground.
“It’s not my job and I cannot do it physically even so, I have just to rely on the word of the Armed Forces and the police because they are the one keeping this Republic healthy and alive,” he said.
“Pag sinabi nila wala nang delikado and everything is okay, then that is the time that we will lift the martial law,” Duterte said.