AFP: Duterte to decide on martial law extension before deadline

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President Rodrigo Duterte

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 16) — President Rodrigo Duterte will make an announcement about his decision on martial law before the 60-day period ends on July 22.

This, according to Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla when asked if whether martial law in Mindanao would be extended.

"I am sure that even before the deadline comes, there will be an announcement made by the Commander-in-Chief regarding his decision whether to approve and support the recommendation that will be forwarded to him," Padilla said in a phone interview with CNN Philippines Saturday.

Padilla said the AFP's assessment on the Marawi crisis has been approved by Chief of Staff Gen. Eduardo Año and has been submitted to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.

Padilla said, "Once the Secretary of Defense has made his own inputs into the document, being the Administrator of martial law, it will be forwarded to the Commander-in-Chief for his decision."

He added, "The best thing to do at this point is to wait for the decision of the President, based on the material or the recommendations made by the armed forces as well as the Secretary of National Defense, who is the Administrator."

Duterte put Mindanao under Martial Law on May 23, hours after fighting in Marawi broke out.

READ: Duterte declares martial law in Mindanao

Under the 1987 Philippine Constitution, the President, as commander-in-chief, may "in case of invasion or rebellion, when the public safety requires it" suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or place the country under martial law.

The period covered should, however, not exceed 60 days. The writ safeguards individual freedom against arbitrary state action.

Hints at possible extension of martial law

In an interview on CNN Philippines' The Source on July 13, Padilla said there may be a basis to extend martial law in Mindanao.

"Martial law, when it was imposed, provided a set of conditions that we should meet at the end of martial law," he said.

Padilla expressed doubt that the military has achieved the primary objective of destroying the Maute group's network and capabilties.

This could be a basis for the extension of martial law in Mindanao.

READ: Military hints at extension of martial law in Mindanao

"For one, you needed to quell the rebellion definitely, and second you needed to degrade the capability of this group to launch another sort of similar activity elsewhere, and you need to destroy the network," Padilla said, explaining the objectives of the military's operations in Marawi City.

"So in as far as the network is concerned , I cannot confidently tell you that we have already taken care of that. So that can perhaps be a basis for the extension," Padilla added.

On June 18, President Duterte said martial law in Mindanao would remain in place until he is satisfied that "not a single shot will be fired ever again."

READ: Duterte: Martial law in Mindanao to continue until I am 'satisfied' conflict has ended