Philippine defense chief hints at lifting of martial law in southern region hinh anh 1Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana hinted on November 11 that he wants to lift martial law that President Rodrigo Duterte imposed in the southern part of the country in 2017 to crush the militants that continue to sow terror in that region.

Lorenzana, the administrator of martial law, said he is not likely to recommend to Duterte to further extend martial law in the entire Mindanao region after the law expires on December 31.

The official said martial law has been implemented too long already in that region, a known haven of both the Islamist and leftist militants. By lifting martial law, he said the security forces can do their jobs.

Last month, Lieutenant General Cirilito Sobejana, commanding general of the Armed Forces of the Philippines' Western Mindanao Command, said he favours imposing martial law in selective provinces like the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

The BARMM includes the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-tawi, and the cities of Cotabato, Marawi and Lamitan, and 63 villages in six North Cotabato towns./.