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Drilon questions martial law extension three times longer than original

/ 12:06 PM July 22, 2017
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Senate President Franklin Drilon. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Senator Franklin Drilon on Saturday questioned the need to extend martial law in Mindanao until the end of the year, when several Maute terrorists have been neutralized in the 60 days prescribed period of President Rodrigo Duterte’s martial law.

During the interpellation in the House of Representatives where Congress convened in a joint special session, Drilon said the actual rebellion is belied by the fact that only four barangays were under the control of the Maute’s terrorists, according to Duterte’s letter to Congress requesting martial law extension.

Drilon also questioned why Duterte needed six more months of martial rule, or three times more the length of time compared to the 60 days period in the first declaration of martial law.

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Drilon said in the 60 days of martial law imposition, the government was able to neutralize 379 Maute terrorists already.

“If we have neutralized 379 Maute or sympathizers, if they have been neutralized in less than two months, why do we need six more months or three times the length of the time to (take) to neutralize more than half of the rebels?” Drilon said.

Drilon said Duterte’s letter to Congress also stated that the government troops were able to clear 16 barangays in Marawi City of Maute terrorists, while only four barangays remained under the control of the Maute.

“Clearly, the factual basis for the request of the period of extension… cannot be supported if we’re going to look at the number of barangays which are allegedly not been cleared,” Drilon said.

Congress convened Saturday to tackle Duterte’s request to extend martial law in Mindanao. His martial law proclamation is set to expire today July 22, after the 60-day period prescribed in the 1987 Constitution. JPV

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TAGS: Congress special session, Martial law, Senate of the Philippines
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