De Lima tags martial law extension ‘twisted plan’ with Congress as ‘pawn’
Sen. Leila de Lima slammed the Duterte administration on Sunday for implementing “its twisted plan” to extend martial law in Mindanao, with the majority of Congress as its “pawn.”
“The Duterte regime has once again made a fool out of the Filipino people as it succeeded in its twisted plan to extend martial law in Mindanao, which includes the suspension of the privilege of writ of habeas corpus, until December 31,” De Lima said in a statement, which she labeled as Dispatch No. 119.
“What makes this worse is that majority of Congress, with a vote of 261-18, allowed itself to be a pawn of the President in his authoritarian project,” she added.
But the detained senator said she was “not surprised at all” with the decision of Congress to extend martial law until the end of the year.
“Even some Muslim lawmakers from the region who are closely related to local politicians recently stripped of police powers were part of the majority vote,” she said. “It seems they were compelled to support the President’s edict for the sake of political survival and personal self-preservation.”
She also questioned the need to extend the declaration for another five months when almost all the remaining members of Maute Group had already been killed in the past 60 days. This move, she said, was “equivalent to belittling the capabilities” of the military in imposing law and order even without martial law.
De Lima, who is detained at the Philippine National Police National Custodial Center in Camp Crame on drug charges, called on the Duterte administration to shift its focus from waging war to addressing the pressing needs of the affected families in the conflict areas.
“Unti-unti nang nilalason ang ating demokrasya dahil sa kapritso ng Pangulo na nagsabing nais lang naman niyang wasakin at durugin ang gobyerno,” she said.
(“Our democracy is slowly being poisoned because of the caprice of the president who said he wanted to destroy the government.”)
“Tila yata na anarkismo ang gustong maghari ni Duterte sa ating bansa,” she added.
(“It seems Duterte wants anarchy to reign in our country.”) /atm
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