Duterte wants third ex­ten­sion of mar­tial law in Min­danao

Sun.Star Pampanga - - NATION! -

PRES­I­DENT Ro­drigo Duterte has sought Congress to ex­tend mar­tial rule in Min­danao for an­other year, heed­ing the call of the Armed Forces of the Philip­pines and the Philip­pine Na­tional Po­lice.

“The Palace confirms that the Pres­i­dent has re­quested Congress to ap­prove the fur­ther ex­ten­sion of mar­tial law and the sus­pen­sion of the priv­i­lege of the writ of habeas cor­pus in the whole of Min­danao for an­other year start­ing next month,” Pres­i­den­tial Spokesper­son Sal­vador Panelo said in a state­ment, Fri­day, De­cem­ber 7.

Duterte has al­ready sent a let­ter to the re­spec­tive lead­ers of the Se­nate and the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, con­tain­ing his re­quest to ex­tend mar­tial law and sus­pend the writ of habeas cor­pus in Min­danao for an­other year, Panelo sai d.

“While it is now up to Congress to de­cide on whether this ini­tia­tive by the Pres­i­dent is jus­ti­fied or not, we are pos­i­tive that it will share our views as ours are purely in­tended for the gen­eral wel­fare of our broth­ers and sis­ters in Min­danao,” the Palace of­fi­cial said.

This is the third time the Pres­i­dent has re­quested Congress to ex­tend mar­tial rule.

Min­danao was first placed un­der mar­tial rule on May 23, 2017 af­ter the Maute ter­ror group laid siege in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur pur­pos­edly to build an en­clave for South­east Asia ex­trem­ists.

Marawi City was de­clared lib­er­ated in Oc­to­ber 2017, but Duterte asked the Congress twice to ex­tend mar­tial rule in the be­leagured re­gion, in an ef­fort to com­pletely quell in­sur­gency.

Mar­tial law in Min­danao will ex­pire on De­cem­ber 31 this year, but if the Se­nate and the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives heed Duterte’s rec­om­men­da­tion, it will lapse un­til the end of 2019.

Sec­tion 18, Ar­ti­cle 7 of the Con­sti­tu­tion states that the Pres­i­dent’s dec­la­ra­tion of mar­tial law and sus­pen­sion of writ of habeas cor­pus can ei­ther be re­voked or ex­tended for a pe­riod de­ter­mined by Congress through joint vot­ing.

Panelo said the mar­tial rule in Min­danao made sig­nif­i­cant strides in fight­ing in­sur­gency, as well as in achiev­ing peace and order in the re­gion.

He, how­ever, lamented that threats of ter­ror­ism in Min­danao still ex­ists, de­spite the cur­rent ad­min­is­tra­tion’s ef­forts to thwart such un­law­ful act.

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