Extended martial law not good for the country — solon | Inquirer News

Extended martial law not good for the country — solon

/ 05:51 PM July 18, 2017


A deputy minority leader in the House of Representatives on Tuesday said an extended martial law is not good for the country, because it could dampen the business environment and taint the country’s image before the international community.

Kabayan Rep. Harry Roque made the statement as President Rodrigo Duterte asked Congress to extend martial law in Mindanao until the end of 2017. His martial law decree is set to expire on July 22, just days before he will deliver his second State of the Nation Address (Sona).




READ: Speaker Alvarez leads allies in supporting martial law extension

“While I am supportive of the President’s initiative to declare martial law, I hope it will be for the shortest time possible. Martial law – even if warranted, even if there is factual basis for it – is never good for the country,” Roque, a lawyer, said.

Roque said he is “cautious” against extending martial law for another five months, because it could instill in the minds of the international community that the country has “long-term problems as far as peace and order is concerned.”

“It will scare away foreign investors, it would definitely scare away tourists,” Roque said.

Roque said a “continuing declaration of martial law” only indicates an admission by the government of the problems of rebellion or invasion, which could affect the business and tourism sectors of the country.

READ: ‘Whimsical’: Solon hits Duterte’s martial law extension till end-2017 


“A declaration and a continuing declaration of martial law is an admission to the entire world community that there is rebellion or invasion in the Philippines and that the public safety requires its declaration,” Roque said.

Roque said an extended martial law only means a “normalization of an abnormal situation,” which in turn casts doubt on the ability of government to curb the terrorism threat in Marawi city.

“It means making a crisis near permanent, which raises questions on the ability of government to effectively address it,” Roque said.

Roque cited the position of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which he said called for the lifting of martial law in Davao due to a slowdown in business and tourism.

“This is never good for business, it is never good for tourism, it is never good for our international reputation,” Roque said.

“That is why even if I understand the factual basis could exist, I hope the extension would be for the shortest time possible,” he added.

President Duterte has placed the whole of Mindanao under martial law following the Maute’s attack in Marawi City.

With the 60-day period of his martial law decree set to expire on July 22, the Chief Executive has asked for martial law until the end of the year to put an end to the threat of terrorism in the south.

READ: Duterte wants martial law in Mindanao extended until end of 2017

Before the President’s second Sona on Monday, Congress will have a special special joint session on Saturday, July 22 as called for by President Duterte to tackle the extension of the Mindanao martial law. JE

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READ: Congress to convene on martial law extension Saturday

TAGS: extended, extension, Harry Roque, Marawi, Martial law, Mindanao

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