Pangilinan hits possible martial law extension in Mindanao
Opposition senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan on Thursday slammed the possibility of extending martial law in Mindanao after the deadly bombing in Isulan town in Sultan Kudarat that killed two people and hurt 36 others.
In a statement, Pangilinan said that while the culprits of the bombing should be arrested, he insisted that he does not see the need to extend martial law in the region, which is currently suffering from “hunger due to the rice crisis and high prices of commodities.”
“While the bombing is deplorable and the perpetrators should be apprehended and brought to justice, I do not see the need for a martial law extension. The existing martial law proclamation failed to prevent the bombing so why would an extension prevent a future bombing?” Pangilinan asked.
The senator said what is needed is “no-nonsense police work” to put the suspects behind bars.
He noted that “if necessary, the calling out of the armed forces to address these lawless elements” can be done without the need for a martial law declaration.
“Up until now, the region is stricken by hunger due to the rice crisis and high prices of commodities. This requires immediate action, and martial law extension is definitely not one of them,” Pangilinan stressed.
The martial law in Mindanao, which President Rodrigo Duterte declared on May 23, 2017 and extended by Congress due to the Marawi siege, will end on December 31, 2018.
Earlier, Malacañang said it is open to the possibility of extending the martial rule in the region. /ee
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