WITH only over two months before martial law in Mindanao expires, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will begin next week the assessment of its implementation and possible further extension.
"Next week, we will start the asessment [of the implementation of martial law in the whole of Mindanao]," AFP chief-of-staff General Carlito Galvez Jr. told Palace reporters on Thursday, October 25.
"We need to assess further considering that the assessment coming from the AFP should be jointly [done] with the PNP (Philippine National Police)," he added.
President Rodrigo Duterte placed the entire Mindanao under martial law on May 23, 2017, a few hours after fighting broke out in Marawi City between the Maute group and government troops.
Martial law has been extended twice by Congress and will end on December 31 this year.
Under Section 18, Article 7 of the 1987 Constitution, the declaration of martial law and the suspension of the privilege of writ of habeas corpus can either be revoked or extended for a period determined by the Senate and the House of Representatives through joint voting.
On October 18, Malacañang expressed openness to the possibility of extending martial law in Mindanao to "maintain peace and order" in the region.
While Galvez refused to comment on the military's possible recommendation, the AFP chief expressed gratitude over the support given by various sectors on the government's implementation of martial rule.
"Last week, Archbishop Martin Jumoad who is one of the very vocal archbishops who also happened to be the bishop of Basilan, he also supported the extension of the martial law because of the good implementation of the AFP and the PNP of the martial law," he said.
"Senator [Sherwin] Gatchalian [is] also supporting it and most of the congressmen living in Mindanao are also supporting this," Galvez added. (SunStar Philippines)