President Duterte’s Request of Martial Law extension in Mindanao has been approved by Congress
In a joint session, the Senate and the House of Representatives for the third time granted President Rodrigo Duterte's request for the extension of martial law and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao for a period of one year, from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2019.
A total of 235 members of Congress voted to approve the motion to further extend the proclamation of martial law in Mindanao for another year, while only 28 voted against it. There was only one abstention.
Under the Constitution, the Congress, voting jointly, has the sole power to extend martial law. A majority vote of the two chambers is needed to pass the motion.
In his letter to Congress dated Dec. 6, President Duterte cited the security assessment submitted by the AFP and the PNP, indicating that rebellion still persists in Mindanao and that public safety requires the continuation of martial rule in the area.
President Duterte said terrorist groups, such as the Abu Sayyaf Group, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, and Daulah Islamiyah continue to defy the government by perpetrating hostile activities during the extended period of martial law.
President Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao on May 23, 2017, after Maute terrorists attacked Marawi City. On July 22, 2017, the 60-day period lapsed, and Congress approved a request from the President to extend martial law until the end of the 2017. In another joint session on Dec. 13, 2017, lawmakers approved the President's request for a year-long extension of martial law in the region until the end of 2018.