Duterte seeks martial law extension in southern Philippines

1000Source: Associated Press

By Jim Gomez

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has asked Congress to extend martial law in the country’s south by another year amid continuing concerns over possible militant attacks, although democracy advocates fear it could worsen human rights conditions.

Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said Friday that ending martial law could undermine progress by government forces in quelling insurgents “and may even strengthen the rebellion and propel it to other parts of the country.”

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said he, along the military and police, backed the extension of martial law in the country’s southern third, because Muslim extremists, including five to 10 foreign fighters, continue to plot bombings and other attacks.

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