THE Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) recommended the extension of martial law in the entire Mindanao because of the "many threats" still facing the region, its spokesman said on Friday.
Nevertheless, "there is a recommendation to similarly support the recommendation of the Philippine National Police", Padilla said, referring to the police recommendation for a yearlong extension, which ha been endorsed by acting Interior Secretary Catalino Cuy. A similar recommendation to extend it was submitted by the police, he said.
President Rodrigo Duerte declared Mindanao under martial law on May 23, shortly after fighting broke out between government forces and extremist gunmen in Marawi City. Congress extended it to December 31 as the 60-day effectivity of the President's order lapsed in July.
"They still remain to be a threat, although they have been significantly degraded in terms of capability and manpower", Padilla said.
When the 60-day period the Constitution sets for the initial declaration lapsed, Duterte sought and was granted an extension by Congress until the end of the year.
"After the pronounced liberation of Marawi and the announced focus on rehabilitation and trade, what will be the role of the people of Marawi in the planning and rehabilitation of their city?"
"Those who survived the siege still remain at large and are attempting to recover by recruiting other members of the society, particularly the vulnerable sector of our population and they are the students, women, and the relatives of those who lost their lives in the fight", Padilla said.
After Marawi had been retaken, Duterte said he would leave it to security forces to determine if martial law needs to be extended further.
Duterte recently declared the New People's Army as a terrorist group following the collapse of the government's peace talks with the communist movement.
According to Padilla, there was a 65-percent increase in violent incidents involving the NPA in Eastern Mindanao since the start of the year.
Of the 617 NPA operations recorded over the year, Padilla said, 382 happened in Eastern Mindanao, where Duterte's hometown Davao City is located.