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Sara Duterte-Carpio says martial law extension will not be a problem
July 22 2017, 10:40 | Alonzo Simpson
Tent "city" to rise in Philippines' Marawi to house residents displaced by conflict
Under the Constitution, the president may declare martial law, if warranted, for 60 days and inform Congress within 48 hours of the justifications for its declaration.
"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".
Mr. Duterte has maintained he wants the conflict to be over soon but his decision on whether or not to prolong martial law in Mindanao would depend on the recommendation of troops on the ground.
Padilla did not specify his reason for saying that the proposed 5-year extension period was too long, only saying that the power to decide on this rests on President Rodrigo Duterte and other political leaders.
In fact, he said the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is finalizing the preparation for the deployment of "well-experienced" engineers for its Engineering Units to help in the rehabilitation process particularly in the restoration of public infrastructures such as school building, mosques, multi-purpose centers, farm-to-market roads and health centers, among others.
Yet the urban warfare, despite being under a regime of martial law, has dragged on for seven weeks - surpassing the three-week siege of Zamboanga City in 2013.
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 lawuntil 2022 is his personal opinion".
Padilla said the government would initially provide tents to the Marawi evacuees, and then build a "single detached cottage" for every family member as temporary shelter.
Opposition lawmaker and Albay 1st District Representative Edcel Lagman said on Monday, July 10 that only President Rodrigo Duterte can initiate the extension of Proclamation Number 216, which put Mindanao under martial law since May 23.
The military has been having a hard time retaking parts of Marawi still controlled by the terrorists, as snipers from the enemy side still lurk around the conflict zone. The country's former dictator Ferdinand Marcos imposed martial law in 1972, using the measure to shut down critical media outlets and imprison thousands of dissidents.
"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. The death toll has breached the 500 mark, with 39 civilians killed, 379 terrorists killed, and 89 government troops killed in action.
Meanwhile, 1,722 civilians who were held hostage or trapped in the main battle were either rescued or brought out of harms way.