AFP chief recommended ML extension till yearend to Duterte

MANILA — Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief, Gen. Eduardo Año, on Saturday admitted that he recommended to President Rodrigo Duterte the extension of martial law in Mindanao until the end of the year.

Año made the statement before lawmakers during the interpellation of Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman in a special joint session of Congress on Duterte’s request for martial law extension.

As implementor of martial law in the southern Philippines, Año gave the recommendation to Duterte to prevent a repeat of the attack launched by Daesh-inspired groups in Marawi City.

”We recommended sir up to 31 December of 2017 because as I’ve said, we wanted to finish all these Daesh-inspired groups so that there will be no repeat of the Marawi attack in the future,” he said.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, who is martial law administrator, said he also gave the president a recommendation about a “specific area and a definitive time” regarding the martial law extension. Lorenzana, however, did not give further details.

When asked about the extent of devastation brought about by the Marawi crisis, Año said “so many catastrophic and destructive effects” of the ongoing rebellion have been caused, not by the military, but by the Maute terrorist group that occupied the now strife-torn city.

”The crisis in Marawi introduced the AFP to a newly-evolving type of urban warfare typical of the ISIS takeover to those of Iraq, notable of which are total disregard for civilian lives, cruelty to captured human beings both captured combatants and innocent individuals, and the nature of looting and pillaging occupied areas of Marawi,” the AFP chief said.

”We are doing our very best to be able to end the crisis at the soonest possible time… so that we can start the reconstruction of Marawi.”

Daesh is another name for the ISIS or Islamic State. FMC/ANP/

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