The Speaker of the House, Pantaleon Alvarez, publicly announced that he personally wanted to extend Martial Law in Mindanao to five years to address the unstable law and order condition in the island-region of 22 million people.
Alvarez said that the declaration of Martial Law on May 23 was well received by the people in Mindanao but he clarified that the personal position he makes is not the position of the entire House of Congress. Filipino Laws empower the president to declare the Martial law that will last for 60 days and Congress will determine whether or not to extend it.
Alvarez who is an elected congressman of Davao del Norte's first district is one of the loyal allies of President Rodrigo Duterte who asserted Proclamation No. 216 putting Mindanao under the state of Martial Law a day after a group of 500 Maute terrorists attacked an Islamic City in Mindanao. Alvarez and Duterte are both natives of Mindanao.
Many critics of Martial Law have challenged the proclamation at the supreme court, which ended the hearing on the oral agreements this week. Thus, the Supreme Court will decide whether or not to affirm or nullify the declaration of the president anytime soon.
However, Duterte has unclear stand whether or not to extend Martial Law. In the early days of Martial Law, he warned that he would extend it if he sees terrorist presence in Visayas and Luzon regions but lately he announced that martial law will be shortened if the threat of terrorism is no longer there.
Alvarez further told journalists that the regions of the island of Luzon and Visayas need not worry because at the moment Martial Law is only applied to Mindanao. He also said that law-abiding citizens need not to worry because only criminals and terrorists should be afraid of Martial Law.