AFP spox: 5-year martial law 'too long'

Daesh-linked groups want to hit Philippines' MILF talks

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.

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.

Richard Gordon, in separate interviews earlier, asked Duterte to inform Congress before July 22 if he wants martial law to remain in force.

"While our forces are clearing Marawi, more than half of the AFP's engineering capabilities will be deployed for the reconstruction, rebuilding and rehabilitation of the Marawi City", Galvez said.

"While I am supportive of the President's declaration of martial law, I hope it will be for the shortest time possible".

While Alvarez is pushing for the extension of Martial Law in Mindanao, he does not favour the idea that martial law should be declared in the entire Philippines.

Some lawmakers questioned Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez's proposal to extend martial law to 2022, saying the Davao del Norte 1st District representative should not be preempting the President.

Mr. Padilla said the Army's job is to make a recommendation on the suitability of rescinding martial law based on "intelligent basis", noting that the judgement on whether the proclamation must be extended is a "political decision".

He said a recommendation will be made to Duterte once the military is satisfied it has flushed out all terrorist elements from the region. Martial law, even if warranted, even if there is factual basis for it, is never good for the country...

However, Mr. Padilla also emphasized that in the event that the hostages and children are "armed" and "involved" in the crossfire, there is "nothing much" that the soldiers can do.

Social Weather Stations (SWS) reported that only 12 per cent of the Filipinos said they were dissatisfied for a net satisfaction rating of plus 66 per cent, considered a "new personal record high" for Duterte.

At least 507 people - 379 suspected terrorists, 39 civilians, and 89 government troops - have died since battles began.

Almost 400,000 civilians have fled their homes.

Government troops continue to fight over 80 terrorists in Marawi City.

The military earlier said Islamist fighters are using children and women as human shields, while earlier reports claim that the Maute group has been training kids, believed to be aged 7 to 16 years old, for combat. "And there are still quite a number, especially elderly (who) are monitored to still be in the area and we will seek to rescue them", Mr. Padilla said.

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