Makabayan to Congress colleagues: Don't railroad martial law extension | Inquirer News

Makabayan to Congress colleagues: Don’t railroad martial law extension

/ 08:05 PM July 18, 2017

Antonio Tinio

Rep. Antonio Tinio of the ACT Teachers party-list group (file photo from the Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Militant lawmakers from the Makabayan bloc on Tuesday called on their colleagues not to give up their constitutional mandate to review President Rodrigo Duterte’s request to extend martial law in Mindanao.

In a press conference, the Makabayan lawmakers said Congress should not just approve the Mindanao martial law extension, as requested by President Rodrigo Duterte because the threat of terrorism in Mindanao remains despite 60 days of martial law.


Duterte wanted Congress to extend martial law until the end of the year.


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

The Makabayan lawmakers called on the President to lift martial law and said they would oppose any moves to extend it.

Act Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio said Congress might as well give up its mandate to review the martial law decree if it does not deliberate on it.

“Pag hindi nasunod ‘yan, pag hindi nagkaroon ng sapat na deliberasyon ng Kongreso, unfortunately, isusuko na naman ng Kongreso ang kaniyang responsibilidad na iniatas ng Konstitusyon na dapat maging bantay sa paggamit ng martial law power,” Tinio said.

Tinio said the 1987 Constitution specifically grants Congress the power to review the martial law declaration, which Congress may extend or even revoke.

READ: Congress to approve martial law extension without difficulty—Alvarez 


“Sa Constitution, Congress will determine. Ibinigay sa Kongreso yung kapangyarihan na magtakda kung gaano katagal pa ‘yung extension,” Tinio said.

He also explained that the Congress needed “enough information” in order to determine if martial law should be extended or not, and not rely on the President’s mere request for an extension.

“In order to determine, kailangang may sapat na impormasyon ang Kongreso mismo at hindi lang dapat umasa sa impormasyon na ibibigay ng Presidente,” Tinio said.

Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate said Congress should not railroad the extension of martial law just because it was the President’s request.

“Muli nanawagan (kami) sa ating mga kasamahan sa Kongreso na pag-aralan mabuti ito pagdebatihan at wag madaliin dahil lamang nagkaroon ng kahilingan ang pangulo na i-extend ang Martial Law,” Zarate said.

READ: Extended martial law not good for the country — solon

Zarate urged his colleagues to fulfill their constitutional mandate to review the martial law extension.

“Dito i-exercise nating mabuti an gating papel bilang mga mambabatas na nakasaad sa ating constitution going beyond the basis of the request for an extension,” Zarate said.

Duterte declare martial law in the whole of Mindanao last May 23, which under the Constitution’s 60-day prescription would lapse on July 22.

It is for this reason Duterte called on Congress to convene on a special session to tackle the martial law extension.

READ: Congress to convene on martial law extension Saturday

For his part, Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao lamented the alleged human rights abuses against lumads and peasants in Mindanao under martial law.

“Wala pong ibang nakikitang substantial na kaibahan at maging ang naging biktima pa ng deklarasyon ng Martial Law ay yung mga hindi malapit o hindi na directly affiliated or connected with the principal target which is the Maute or the Abu Sayyaf,” Casilao said.

Casilao said the bloc conducted a fact-finding mission and found out that evacuees faced harassment from the military.

“We conducted one international and national fact finding mission and after that fact finding mission meron tayong mga serye ng documentation not only from bakwits of Marawi but bakwits of the nine provinces who are currently facing intensive military operations, aerial bombardments, and harassments,” Casilao said. With Airei Kim Guanga, trainee/JE

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

TAGS: Congress, extended, extension, Makabayan, Marawi, Marawi City, Martial law, Tinio, Zarate

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