Senate minority opposes martial law extension in Mindanao

Lester Mason
December 8, 2017

The Armed Forces of the Philippines has recommended the extension of martial law in Mindanao, saying it is needed to decisively resolve the various armed threats in the south.

The opposition lawmaker made the comments after the military and police recommended the extension of martial rule in Mindanao beyond its supposed lapse on December 31, citing "significant violent activities" from extremist groups in the south despite the liberation of conflict-stricken Marawi City.

"I do not have the details as to the length but as far as I am concerned there is a recommendation to similarly support the recommendation of Philippine National Police", AFP Spokesperson Restituto Padilla said in a news briefing in Malacañang on Friday.

"What matters most is the view of the stakeholders, the view of the Mindanaoans on martial law".

In a separate statement, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said the PNP's recommendation to extend martial law "has no factual and legal basis and is patently unconstitutional".

In October, Duterte announced that Marawi had been liberated from terrorists after more than 1,000 people, mostly terrorists, died.

Task Force Bangon Marawi chairman, retired Major General Eduardo del Rosario earlier revealed intelligence reports that the remaining members of the Maute group are conducting "massive recruitment", offering as high as P100,000 to each recruit.


According to Drilon, however, the AFP and PNP's grounds for extending martial law "do not meet the requirements of the Constitution".

Other minority senators are Paolo Benigno Bam Aquino, Risa Hontiveros, Francis Pangilinan, and Antonio Sonny Trillanes IV.

Martial law was declared in the entire Mindanao on May 23, shortly after the Marawi war broke out, and was extended until December 31 this year to address the remaining security threats in the region.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the police forces to rejoin the frontline of the anti-drug campaign after they were barred from an active role in the bloody "drug war" two months ago due to the deaths of two teenage suspects.

The five senators stressed that martial law, along with military air strikes, were the primary reasons the residents fled Marawi in the early stage of the Maute group's attack.

"The mandate of the Constitution is clear - martial law may be declared if actual rebellion exists and Congress may extend the declaration if the rebellion persists", Drilon said.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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