Martial law to remain in Southern Philippines

Tent

An official from the country's Board of Investments in a telephone interview downplayed the impact of martial law on foreign investments, saying that there had been no significant changes in activity since the conflict in Marawi erupted.

Last Tuesday, the Supreme Court affirmed the legality of Duterte's martial law declaration in Mindanao, officially setting aside the opposition's bid to overturn it.

A top lawmaker in the Philippines has called for an extension of martial law in the southern part of the country for up to five years, but the army does not seem to support the extension, calling it "too long".

Proclamation 216 is only effective for one more week.

"The President was supposed to go to Marawi City next, but decided not to push through because of inclement weather", PCO added. "Before it makes a recommendation to the commander-in-chief, the AFP [Armed Forces of the Philippines] must have an intelligent basis to make whatever recommendation there is for extension or lifting".

For his part, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto C. Abella said of Mr. Alvarez's remarks that the Speaker has "clarified that his remarks to extend martial law until 2022 is his personal opinion". Mr. Marcos was overthrown in 1986 by a People Power revolution.

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The Philippines Constitution stipulates martial law can be imposed for 60 days, unless extended by the Congress. The police and military had attempted to arrest Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon, the supposed "emir" in the Philippines of global terrorist group Islamic State.

"The communist rebels also denounced the intensified offensives by state forces against leftist fighters amid the military rule, adding that sustained aerial bombardments in Marawi "(have) been proven a failure".

It said at least 5,000 people also evacuated from their communities since May due to AFP operations, while civil and political rights continue to be violated by checkpoints, random searches by AFP soldiers and threats against the right to express views.

Brig. Gen, Restitution Padilla said the government will proceed with its initial plan to set up tents as temporary shelters for the 471,224 residents who were forced to flee to avoid the fighting between government troops and militants linked to the Islamic State (IS).

"The all-out disregard of Duterte-AFP for the lives and property has succeeded further in igniting widespread and determined armed resistance by various Moro groups", said the statement. In a daily briefing on July 10, the military reported that more than 450 terrorists, 39 civilians, and 89 military and police personnel have been killed in the siege, which shows no sign of abating despite military claims that the militants have been confined to a small area and reduced to less than 100 fighters.

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