Ejercito says he would support martial law extension if Senate tackles issue | Inquirer News

Ejercito says he would support martial law extension if Senate tackles issue

/ 02:59 PM July 05, 2017

Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito said he would gladly vote for the extension of martial law if security and military officials would see the need for it.

“Kung hihingiin ng mga defense officials ‘yan (if the defense officials would request for it), if they can guarantee that they can finish the mopping-up operations in a month or two, then probably we’ll grant it,” Ejercito said during the Kapihan sa Senado on Wednesday.


READ: SC upholds validity of martial law in Mindanao


The fact that the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) monitored no reports of abuses or atrocities committed by the military, it clearly shows that there is no reason to reject the redeclaration or extension of martial law, said Ejercito.

“I’ll be glad to grant or vote for it because in fact, there’s no instance of abuse by the Armed Forces since day one of the declaration. That’s the more important thing,” he said.

The Supreme Court’s upholding of the constitutionality of martial law in Mindanao drew mixed reactions from different sectors. Opposition lawmakers were quick to point out that this was President Rodrigo Duterte’s initial step to dictatorship.

The senator said he has spoken with some local government officials in Mindanao and all of them were very supportive of the martial rule in the region.

Ejercito said he got positive feedback from Mindanao citizens themselves when he sought opinion on the martial law situation there.

“I was able to talk to some of the people there and the Mindanawons are for martial law because they want things to go back to the normal (situation),”


“Sabi nga nila, ‘hindi ko nga rin maintindihan. Dito sa amin sa Mindanao gusto namin ng martial law tapos mga taga Metro Manila naman umaangal,’” Ejercito recalled.

(They actually say, ‘I don’t understand. Here in our place in Mindanao, we want martial law, but those who are in Metro Manila are complaining about it)

Ejercito said he also sees the need to extend martial law, saying Mindanao’s terrain is “very porous” and easily penetrable for armed elements.

Senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto III also supported martial law in Mindanao.

Sotto said is it because Duterte was the one imposed martial law that many are opposing it? The martial law issue probably wouldn’t have gotten any objection if it was imposed by any other leader.

“Yung mga kumokontra (sa martial law), kontra kay Duterte. Ako gano’n ang analysis ko. Kung ibang tao nag-declare ng martial law sa Mindanao, baka hindi ganyan ang reaction nung iba,” Sotto said in the same forum.

(Those who are against martial law are against Duterte. That is my analysis. If it was imposed by a different leader probably martial law will receive a different reaction)

“‘Yung mga kumokontra, hindi naman sinasabi na Mindanao lang dapat. Para sa kanila, basta narinig nila yung ‘martial law’ even without defining it, ayaw nila eh,” he said.

“Those who are opposing it, they are not claiming that it should only be in Mindanao. For them, when they hear ‘martial law’ they directly disagree even without defining it)

Meanwhile, Ejercito said he had asked Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel II to summon security officials so they could brief the Senate about the situation in Marawi City before the 60-day period of the martial law lapses on July 22.

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“He (Pimentel) will request when he gets back siguro this week,” Ejercito said.  JPV

TAGS: AFP, Martial law, Mindanao, Tito Sotto

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