Speaker Alvarez sad martial law not extended for 5 more years
Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on Saturday said he had mixed emotions when Congress approved President Rodrigo Duterte’s request to extend the Mindanao martial law until the end of the year.
In an interview with ANC after the joint special session adjourned, Alvarez said he was saddened because would have wanted the martial law in Mindanao to be extended for five more years until the end of Duterte’s term.
But he said he would have to content himself with what Congress approved, which was an extension until Dec. 31, 2017.
“Naghalo po yung lungkot at tuwa,” Alvarez said. “Nalulungkot ako dahil bilang isang taga-Mindanao, para sa aking pananaw ay ito ay dapat na in-extend, yung aking position dito, ay limang taon.”
“Ngayon, masaya ako dahil ganun pa man ay ito ay na-extend ng limang buwan at ako ay nagpapasalamat sa aking mga colleague na sumuporta dito both dito sa House of Representatives at saka sa Senado,” he added.
Alvarez said there would be no need for Congress to monitor the human rights situation in Mindanao under martial law, especially with the media constantly documenting the situation on the ground.
“Alam mo hindi na kailangang i-monitor ng Congress yan dahil sa dami na po ng media na nadodoon, nado-document lahat from day one,” he said. “Sa dami po ng mga volunteer groups na nandodoon sa area ay sa palagay ko ay sapat na yun para makita natin kung merong paglabag sa karapatang pantao.”
READ: Pangilinan asks AFP to submit human rights situationer in Mindanao
Asked on the adverse impact of the martial rule on the economy, particularly tourism in Mindanao, Alvarez said Filipinos would have to make sacrifices.
“Alam mo, kailangan tayong magsakripisyo eh,” he said. “Kung limang buwan lang iyan ay gawin na natin yung sakripisyo. Matagal na panahon na na yung Mindanao hindi makaahon sa kahirapan sa kadahilanan nga nitong mga rebelyon na ito, yung mga gulo.”
Alvarez said, on the contrary, the Mindanao martial law would create more opportunities in terms of investments in Mindanao.
Congress leaders were open to convening both chambers of the legislative to tackle the extension of martial law, although they earlier thumbed down calls to convene to deliberate on the report of the President when he first imposed martial rule in Mindanao.
Instead of convening to tackle the martial law when it was initially declared, Congress instead passed a resolution finding no reason to revoke the President’s proclamation. /atm
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