PHL's Duterte not yet lifting martial law before SONA

LOOK: Duterte in combat uniform, armed wanted to go to Marawi

LOOK: Duterte in combat uniform, armed wanted to go to Marawi

On May 23, the President was prompted to declare martial law in Mindanao following the attacks of Jihadist terrorists in Marawi City aiming to turn the besieged city into a caliphate of Islamic State fighters in Southeast Asia.

Asked about the probability of gaining approval from Congress should Duterte seek an extension, Senate Majority Floor Leader Vicente Sotto III said there is a high possibility that the military rule would be confined only to Lanao del Sur and not the entire Mindanao.

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"So, I have to rely", Duterte said, "on the military and police can tell me if it is no longer critical", referring to General Eduardo Ano, the chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Director General Ronald dela Rosa, the head of the Philippine National Police. "Hindi naman pwede 'yang peace time ka na pumunta (It's not good to go there only during peace time)", the President said on Friday afternoon at the Davao International Airport upon his return from Iligan City, where he was stuck because he was prevented from proceeding to Marawi City due to bad weather.

Duterte reiterated he was still waiting for the recommendation of the military and the police on the possible extension of martial law before he is to deliver his address before Congress on July 25.

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"Hindi naman 'yung sabihin ko na (I can't just say) 'you place yourself in jeopardy.' But somehow, during the fighting, you should show yourself to - that you are with - one in our desire to protect the republic", Duterte added. I should show my face there. I do not have an independent study of what outings are on the ground.

He admitted that recently, he discussed the issue with top military and police officials who told him the situation remains "critical". It's not my job.

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Martial law has a 60-day lifespan. "And I can not do it physically even", he said. It is expected to end on July 22, two days before the President's scheduled Sona. "Pag sinabi nila, wala nang delikado and everything is okay, then that is the time that I will lift martial law".

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