On May 23rd, the day the Maute group invaded Marawi, President Duterte declared martial law across the island of Mindanao for 60 days. The end of the 60 days will be on July 22nd, however, the Filipino government has discussed a temporary extension of marital law. This recommendation has come from the National Police chief Ronald dela Rosa on July 17th. Although Philippine Catholic bishops and church leaders believe the government should agree with the view of the Filipinos and get the majority vote on whether or not to extend martial law.
07/17/2017 The Philippines (UCA News) – Philippine Catholic bishops have expressed apprehension over the possible extension of the state of martial law across the country’s southern region of Mindanao.
The church leaders, however, said people in Mindanao should be consulted about whether military rule should continue in the face of the ongoing conflict on the island.
President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law across Mindanao for 60 days on May 23 following an Islamic State-inspired terrorist attack on the city of Marawi. It is due to end on July 22.
The Philippine Supreme Court affirmed the declaration of martial law legitimate.
A nationwide survey by pollster Social Weather Stations show that a majority of Filipinos support Duterte’s martial law declaration.
A bigger number, however, expressed opposition to the declaration’s possible expansion to the Luzon and Visayas regions.
Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Kalookan, vice president of the Catholic bishops’ conference, said people in Mindanao should be asked their opinion on the issue.
“Maybe instead of getting the view of ‘the majority of Filipinos’ the survey should find out more specifically if the majority of people in Mindanao agree with extending martial law,” said the prelate.