Drilon nixes another extension of martial law in Mindanao
MANILA, Philippines — It is time to lift martial law in Mindanao, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said on Wednesday.
“We cannot tolerate an ‘unli’ martial law. The continued placing of Mindanao under martial law would set a dangerous precedent, not to mention its economic and social implications,” Drilon said in a statement.
Mindanao has been under martial law since the Marawi siege in 2017.
National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Jr. on Tuesday said he would recommend the extension of martial law in Mindanao for another one year.
“Is martial law now the new norm in Mindanao?” Drilon asked.
The senator then called on the government’s security cluster to study the situation in Mindanao and “consider the dangerous mindset that the continued declaration of martial law in Mindanao may give rise to.”
“There is no perpetual martial law. There must be an end to this,” he said. “As I said before, martial law is like an antibiotic, and antibiotic, when used excessively, becomes ineffective.”
Drilon explained that under Section 18 of Article VII of the 1987 Constitution, the President may place any part of the country under martial law for a period not exceeding 60 days.
The same section, he said, provides that “upon the initiative of the President, the Congress may, in the same manner, extend such proclamation or suspension for a period to be determined by the Congress, if the invasion or rebellion shall persist and public safety requires it.”
But Drilon reiterated there is nothing that shows actual rebellion and armed uprising in the region that would justify the extension. /muf
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