Zarate: Justification to extend ML a ‘copy paste’ of previous requests
MANILA, Philippines — Opposition lawmaker Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate rejected on Wednesday President Rodrigo Duterte’s request to extend martial law in Mindanao for another year.
At the joint session of Congress in Batasang Pambansa, Zarate pointed out that Malacañang’s justification was almost the same with its arguments to extend martial law in Mindanao in 2017.
“Nung binabasa ko itong sulat ngayon ni Pangulong Duterte at binasa ko itong sulat ngayon in December 2017 parang cut and paste lang po ang inyong justification,” Zarate said.
“In 2017, extension of martial law is ‘primarily to ensure the total eradication of the Daulah Islamiah at iba pang rebeldeng grupo’ at ‘to quell completely and to put an end to the on-going rebellion,’” he added.
“Now it’s December of 2018 ano po ang sinabi ninyo, ‘to finally put an end to the on-going rebellion in Mindanao and continue to prevent the same from escalating in other parts of the country.’ Cut and paste po no.”
“Lumabalabas dito, kayo na rin umaamin na hindi epektibo yung batas militar sa Mindanao at gusto ninyo maging unlimited ang martial law sa Mindanao,” he added.
But Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenza said they “need more time to neutralize” the threat groups.
“‘Di ito katulad ng dating martial law dati (Marcos time) na absolute power ang pinapatupad ng military. Gusto namin mahuli lahat ng ating kalaban pero may mga sinusunod po tayong mga batas. We need more time to neutralize them, to reduce their capability to create trouble,” Lorenzana said.
Prior to Zarate’s interpellation, Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel Lagman said martial law in Mindanao cannot be legally extended because Duterte himself announced the liberation of Marawi from terrorists in October 2017. /jpv
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