Sara Duterte-Carpio says martial law extension will not be a problem

Soldiers walk along Quezon Avenue to their post in Iligan City on Friday.

Ejercito earlier pointed out that since there have been no atrocities or any human rights violations committed since the imposition of martial law, "it will be easier to justify (its) extension if needed".

Military officials have yet to submit the recommendation on whether to extend or lift martial law in Mindanao.

In recent remarks, Brig Gen Restituto Padilla, a spokesman for the Armed Forces of the Philippines, said the military's assessment of the security situation in Mindanao was still ongoing.

"We are sticking to some mission profiles that we were provided with at the very beginning of martial law".

The speaker was quoted in a July 9 Inquirer report saying he would gather support from legislators at the lower House to extend Martial Law until 2022, the year President Rodrigo Duterte finishes his term. The Senate speaker insisted the final decision rests with Duterte.

"The Department of National Defense and the Armed Forces will make recommendations, but the [final] decision will come from the political leadership, which holds a wider array of considerations".

The Congress, which under Philippine law has to approve any extension of martial law beyond a 60-day limit (which expires on July 22) is expected to overwhelmingly endorse the measure within the next few days.

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.

Displaced children stay at an evacuation center outside the city, as army troops continue their assault against insurgents from the Maute group, in Marawi, Philippines July 4, 2017. These include leaders of the Maute group and Abu Sayyaf senior leader Isnilon Hapilon.

The President declared martial law in Mindanao after government troops clashed with members of the Maute Group and the Abu Sayyaf Group in Marawi City on May 23.

They said life is better now. "Their network extends throughout Mindanao". They will assess whether or not military operations in Marawi have been effective.

Meanwhile, 1,722 civilians who were held hostage or trapped in the main battle were either rescued or brought out of harms way. The death toll has breached the 500 mark, with 39 civilians killed, 379 terrorists killed, and 89 government troops killed in action.

The AFP engineering units will construct projects in conflict-affected areas or places which civilian construction companies can not penetrate.

More than 400 have been killed in the fighting so far, while more than 300,000 have been displaced.

The emergence of groups pledging allegiance to Islamic State has been considered the biggest security problem to face the year-old Duterte administration.