|Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte|
MANILA, July 18 (Xinhua) -- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte wants to extend martial law in the entire Mindanao and nearby islands until the end of the year to ensure public safety and in order to quell the rebellion in the southern Philippines, his spokesman Ernesto Abella said on Tuesday.
Abella said that Duterte sent a seven-page letter to Congress Monday night requesting for an extension of martial law until Dec. 31, 2017, "or for such period of time as a congress may determine."
"The primary objective of the possible extension is to allow our forces to continue with their operation unhampered by deadlines and to focus more on the liberation of Marawi and its rehabilitation and rebuilding," Abella told a news conference at the Malacanang presidential palace.
Duterte declared martial law for 60 days on the entire Mindanao and nearby island provinces after extremists linked to Islamic State laid siege to Marawi City in May. The 60-day period will end on July 22.
Read the full story at Xinhua