Lorenzana: ‘We're not talking about lifting martial law yet’
MANILA, Philippines – Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Monday, October 16, said the government had not discussed lifting martial law in Mindanao even as the military declared confidence that the war in Marawi would be over soon.
The war that erupted in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur, on May 23, prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to declare martial law in entire Mindanao. Lorenzana is the administrator of martial law.
“We are not talking about lifting martial law yet," Lorenzana said in a press briefing.
The millitary announced the deaths of the top leaders behind the siege – Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute – in an assault past midnight on Monday.
Troops are hunting down remaining fighters in the battle area. Lorenzana said they would assess the implementation of martial law after the fighting in Marawi is over. (READ: PH military continues hunt for Malaysian Mahmud Ahmad in Marawi)
"We are looking in the immediate aftermath of the killing of these two leaders, we may be announcing the cessation of hostilities in Marawi City within this week. After that, we’ll find out. We’ll assess the [situation in the] entire Mindanao [to see] if there is a need to recommend to the President the lifting of martial law," said Lorenzana. – Rappler.com