photo by Presidential Communications (Government of the Philippines)

The Senate and the House of Representatives in a special joint session today granted President Rodrigo Duterte’s request to extend martial law in Mindanao to five more months or until December 31, 2017.

In an overwhelming vote, a total of 261 lawmakers including 16 senators and 245 congressmen voted in favor while 18 including 4 senators and 14 congressmen were not in favor.

It can be recalled that Duterte signed Proclamation No. 216 last May 23 declaring martial law in Mindanao after ISIS-inspired Maute group attacked Marawi City. The 60-day limit under the constitution will end tomorrow July 22 but government authorities are recommending the five-month extension to cover the rehabilitation period for war-torn Marawi and to prevent the possible retaliation of terrorist sympathizers.

Watch the video below.

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