Majority of senators inclined to support martial law extension



Most senators emerged from a lengthy security briefing convinced that there was a need for an extension of martial law in Mindanao.
“Sa tingin ko marami ang supportive kasi nga mukhang justified naman yung reason,” Sen. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito said.

“Until now there are no reports of atrocities and abuses on the part of government. If it will help restore peace and order in Mindanao makakatulong yan expecially the movements of armed personnel like (the private armies of) war lords noon kasi nga bawal na movement ng firearms legal or illegal,” JV said.

Senator Joel Villanueva, in a separate interview, admitted that a number of senators are wary about the idea of having martial law extended for five months.

“The way I look at it when it comes to the extension, majority would support but the number of days or months … it is still questionable. We will seriously study it,” said Sen. Joel Villanueva.

“We requested from the security officials to present more information at the joint session so it will be clearer to us whether there’s a need to extend until December,” said Sen. Grace Poe.

Sen. Richard Gordon said he was supporting an extension but only for 60 days. “I go on the side of due diligence … but we will let them explain why we should extend it [until the end of the year],” he said in a separate interview.

Sen. Miguel Zubiri favored the extension of martial law in Mindanao until the end of the year. “I think five additional months is more than enough at the same time sufficient enough to be able to weed out this armed elements,” Zubiri told reporters.

President Rodrigo Duterte said he came to the conclusion that the rebellion in Mindanao would not be quelled completely by July 22, the last day of the 60-day period of martial law mandated under the 1987 Constitution.

“The request of the President is very reasonable, justifiable. And since he knows a lot of things, I believe that we should give him the benefit of the doubt,” Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II told reporters.




Source:  Inquirer

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