House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez made a surprise move this week when he announced that he personally wanted to extend martial law in 2022 or until Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte steps down from his role as president.
Alvarez heads the more than 200 lawmaker-members in the House of Congress and is known to be a close ally of Duterte who declared a state of Marital in Mindanao on 23 May. Mindanao is an island region in the Southern Philippines with more than 30 cities and a population of 22 million.
As martial law is expected to end its effect on July 22 as provided by law, Alvarez said that it is through Martial Law that rebellion crisis and other related problems in Mindanao could be addressed.
"As a Mindanaoan, I support the extension of Martial Law until 2022 to end all the troubles in Mindanao once and for all," Alvarez sad.
Moreover, Alvarez said that his personal opinion is not the position of House of Congress. Alvarez is the elected congressman of Davao del Norte's 1st district in the Southern Philippines.
He mentioned ISIS and the New People's Army (NPA) as the two major problems in the Southern Philippines.
The Supreme Court ruled the legality of Duterte's declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao as a government response to the attack of 500 Maute militants' group in Marawi City, the Philippines sole Islamic City.
Under the Philippine Law, the president has the power to extend the period of Martial Law but it needs to get the majority support of the Congress.
While Alvarez is pushing for the extension of Martial Law in Mindanao, he does not favour the idea that martial law should be declared in the entire Philippines.