President Duterte Hindi Babawiin Ang Martial Law! Mga Senador Suportado Ang Extension!

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Lawmakers said that Martial Law in Mindanao might be extended provided that the situation would still warrant a need for its continuation.

According to several senators, Congress could easily approve the extension should the armed conflict in Marawi City, which pushed President Rodrigo Duterte to declare martial law, continue to persist.

"Yes, if they show that 1, the problem is still subsisting and 2 ML is still needed to address it," Senator Francis Joseph "Chiz" G. Escudero said.

"Yes, if the situation so warrants," Senate Majority Leader Vicente "Tito" C. Sotto III said.

For other senators, however, a briefing from the military must first be done before Congress decides whether or not an extension would be needed.

"We will ask for a briefing from the military, which is what we also requested for after the initial proclamation, and then we take it from there," said Senator Juan Edgardo "Sonny" M. Angara.

This was mirrored by Sen. Gregorio B. Honasan, who said: "Any rational informed policy decision must be based on complete, accurate and timely information. It all depends on the most current comprehensive consolidated report from the martial law administrators, local governments, and coordinated agencies on the ground."

While this was echoed by Sen. Joseph Victor "JG" G. Ejercito, he noted that extending the martial law could be easier to justify since there have been no issues so far.

"We want to be briefed so that we’ll have a better grasp and understanding of the situation on the ground in Marawi," he said.

"But since there have been no atrocities or any human rights violations committed since imposition of Martial Law, it will be easier to justify extension if needed," he added.

Still, Senator Panfilo "Ping" M. Lacson said the decision of Congress will rely mainly on the briefing of military officials.

"It will largely depend on how the security officials of the government will present their case to the Congress, notwithstanding the overwhelming number of allies the President has in both Houses," he said.

Duterte's declaration of martial law in Mindanao will lapse on July 22.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon said Congress should discuss the possible request to extend martial law after Duterte's State of the Nation Address on July 24, as both chambers will be in joint session.
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Source: PTV

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