Ejercito, Sotto back martial law extension, but…
Some senators are supportive of the Philippine National Police (PNP)’s recommendation to President Duterte that martial law in Mindanao be extended.
Senator JV Ejercito said he will support martial law for as long as there are no human rights violations or atrocities committed by the government forces.
But Ejercito said he would still insist that the security officials give the Senate a briefing on the situation in the war-torn Marawi City before they arrive on a decision whether to extend martial law or not.
“I would insist that the Senate be given a security briefing by DND (Department of National Defense) and AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) officials after the PNP (Philippine National Police) and DILG (Department of Interior and Local Government) briefing last week. So that we will have a better understanding of the Marawi situation at present,” Ejercito said in a text message on Monday.
“Though because of the fact that there are no human rights violations or atrocities committed, most likely I will support the extension of Martial Law in Mindanao to ensure that the Maute and Isis terrorists are neutralized,” he said.
Senate Majority Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto III also said he is for the extension of the army rule in the region while the government troops are fighting the terrorists there.
But when asked if he agrees with Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon that martial law in Mindanao should not extend beyond the original 60-day period as provided for by the 1987 Constitution, Sotto replied: “Yes.”
PNP chief Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa said the PNP had submitted a position paper expressing the police’s stand on martial law last Friday.
President Duterte placed the entire Mindanao under martial law when members of the Maute terror group launched attacks against the soldiers and police in the capital city of Lanao del Sur. The effectivity of the declaration will lapse on July 22. JE/rga
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