Jolo bombing no cause Mindanao martial law extension – Lagman
The deadly church bombing in Jolo, Sulu province, does not justify the extension of martial law in Mindanao, according to opposition Rep. Edcel Lagman.
The Albay lawmaker said the blasts that killed more than 20 people at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on Sunday “cannot be used as a prop or justification for the third extension of martial law and the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus in the whole of Mindanao.”
Lagman, in a statement, noted that the incident had been branded as a terrorist attack by President Rodrigo Duterte, the military and police leadership, and administration officials, and “not an act pursuant to an alleged rebellion in Mindanao.”
Under the Constitution, the President may place the country or any part of it under martial rule “to prevent or suppress lawless violence, invasion or rebellion.”
Persistent terror threats
In December, Congress approved a third extension of martial law in Mindanao for the whole of 2019 after security officials cited persistent and continuing terror threats in the region.
But Lagman said the Jolo blast happened 46 days after the third extension of martial law was granted by Congress, and consequently, “it was not a factual basis existing at the time of the controversial extension.”
But presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo insisted that martial law in Mindanao remained effective despite the blasts that drew condemnation from world leaders. —DJ YAP
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