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Officials and members of Marawi Sultanate League led by its president Sultan Nasser Sampaco, past chairman Sultan Monching Macabando, senior advisers Sultan Camid Gandamra and Sultan Linog Indol, Marawi sultan Subair Mustapha and other Marawi traditiona leaders posed for a souvenir photo with city mayor Majul Gandamra when they paid on him a courtesy call  a year before the Marawi siege. Photo by Bailabi Bing Indol Sampaco.

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur: The traditional leaders of Marawi were elated for the extension of Martial Law in Mindanao even as they lauded Congress for approving the extension of Martial Law on Wednesday. 
Sultan Nasser D. Sampaco, chair of the Marawi Sultanate League, a respected aggrupation of sultans and traditional leaders in the Islamic city of Marawi, told this writer that they are happy to hear Martial Law is extended for another year. 
The 17th Congress on Wednesday approved the request of President Rodrigo Duterte to extend martial law in Mindanao for another year, or until the end of 2019. 
This is the third extension of martial law in Mindanao granted to Duterte. 
Voting 235-28-1, the Senate and the House of Representatives also extended to December 31, 2019, the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in the region, which would allow the government to arrest persons of interest without a warrant. 
Sampaco said that the Martial Law is necessary in the present situation of Marawi and Mindanao especially in the presence of terrorists. 
“Without martial law,” Sampaco said, “the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Marawi may not be realized with many people who want to disrupt the rehabilitation program.” 
Marawi was sieged by the dreaded Maute and allied terror group on May 23 last year which lasted for five months, devastating a city portion called “Ground Zero”, the most affected area in the siege. 
Sampaco said Martial Law had also remarkably minimized criminalities used to be rampant in the city and the province of Lanao del Sur before martial law. 
Expected violence which usually happened during elections did not occur in the last barangay and sangguniang kabataan elections held last October, he added. (RSP)

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