‘What will prevent gov’t from declaring martial law in other areas?’ – Lacson
With the communist rebels being used to justify the extension of martial law in Mindanao, then what would prevent the government from declaring the same in other areas in the country?
Senator Panfilo Lacson raised this question on Tuesday while he expressed his inclination to support the one-year extension being sought by President Rodrigo Duterte if only to give “added boost” in the military’s campaign against terrorism.
“Ang danger na nakikita ko kasi sinama nila sa proclamation sa request ng President ang CPP-NPA,” Lacson told reporters, referring to the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army.
“Now, what will prevent the government or administration from declaring martial law in other areas outside of Mindanao? Halimbawa, may nagbarilan NPA at military sa Nasugbu, Batangas. Para maging consistent ang Kongreso, papayagan namin mag-martial law sa Nasugbu o sa Sorsogon kung saan nagkakaroon ng clashes kung yan ang justification?” he said.
Besides, Lacson pointed out that the NPA threats were not included in the President’s original request from Congress when he first declared martial law in Mindanao last May after the Marawi siege by the Maute terrorist group.
In July, Congress also approved Duterte’s request to extend martial law until December 31.
Instead of asking for extension, Lacson said it might be more appropriate if the President would declare a new martial law, which should be submitted to Congress for approval.
The senator also acknowledged that the basis for the extension was lacking if Congress would strictly follow the letters of the Constitution, which requires among others the presence of actual rebellion and uprising.
“Sa explanation nila kung pagbabasehan natin ang kanina sa briefing nila mukhang kinakapos sa actual rebellion at saka public safety. Pag sinabi mo kasing public safety ang nire-refer mo general public. Hindi lang ang publiko sa isang maliit na lugar,” he pointed out.
Nevertheless, Lacson said he was inclined to support the proposed one-year extension of martial law in Mindanao.
“I’m supportive only if to give the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police the psychological boost,” he said.
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