MANILA – The country’s largest business organization, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), is supporting the call of President Rodrigo Duterte to Congress to extend martial law in Mindanao.
“I think the extension is needed for more time to flush out the rebels with minimum casualties on both soldiers and citizens held hostage,” PCCI President George Barcelon said Tuesday.
“We trust the assessment of the military adviser and decision of the President,” Barcelon added.
In a press briefing at the Malacañang Palace Tuesday, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said President Duterte has called upon the Congress to extend martial law in Mindanao until the end of this year.
Abella said President Duterte took into account the recommendations of National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief-of-Staff General Eduardo Año, and Philippine National Police Chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa in considering the extension of martial law.
The Chief Executive noted that the “existing rebellion” in Mindanao, which prompted him to declare martial law last May 23, “will not be quelled completely” on July 22, 2017, which is the end of the 60-day martial law.