From GMA News Online (Jun 27, 2019): No recommendation yet for lifting of martial law in Mindanao — DND spox
There is no official recommendation yet for the lifting of martial law in Mindanao as assessments are ongoing, the spokesperson for the Department of National Defense said Thursday.
"The lifting of Martial Law in Mindanao or some parts of it is being thoroughly evaluated by the security sector and consultations with local governments and security forces on ground are also being undertaken in order to assess the situation in our communities," DND spokesperson Arsenio Andolong told GMA News Online in a message.
"This is absolutely necessary before any recommendation to lift Martial Law in Mindanao can be presented to the President," he added.
Further, Andolong said that Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana would have already recommended the lifting of martial law if the 17th Congress passed the proposed amendments to the Human Security Act.
"As we all know, it did not happen so the Secretary did not issue his recommendation," he said.
He underscored that Lorenzana " does not wish to keep Martial Law a day longer than it is necessary" but conditions that would ensure peace, order, stability and good governance are prerequisites for recommending the lifting of martial law in the southern part of the Philippines.
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte reportedly proposed the exemption of the area under her jurisdiction from the Mindanao-wide martial law.
President Rodrigo Duterte, on the other hand, said that Mindanao is still a "dangerous place."
The President declared martial law in Mindanao in May 2017 after the ISIS-inspired Maute group besieged the Islamic City of Marawi in Lanao del Sur.
It has since been extended by the Congress thrice with the latest extension having effect until December 31, 2019.
Despite the implementation of martial law, lawless elements still managed to pull off a fatal bombing attack at a cathedral in Jolo, Sulu which claimed at least 20 lives; and a grenade attack at a mosque in Zamboanga where two died in January.