LP lawmakers call for thorough debate on martial law extension
MANILA, Philippines – Legislators from the Liberal Party (LP) urged their colleagues to engage in proper debates as Congress is set to discuss whether or not to grant the President Rodrigo Duterte's request to extend martial law in Mindanao.
“Bilang kinatawan ng mamamayan sa Kongreso, hindi natin tatalikuran ang ating tungkulin na i-assess kung may basehan, kung angkop at kung tama sa pagpapalawig sa martial law (As representatives of the people in Congress, we will not renege on our duty to assess the basis, propriety, and wisdom of the martial law extension),” the LP said in a statement on Thursday, July 20.
“Hinihimok natin ang ating mga kasamahan na magsalita na at mapakinggan at huwag hayaan mawalan ng saysay ang joint session (We urge our colleagues to speak up and be heard and not make the joint session an exercise in futility),” the party added.
Duterte has asking Congress to extend his imposition of martial law in Mindanao by 5 months or until the end of the year due to the “evolving” urban warfare in Marawi City. (READ: Duterte's letter to Congress asking for martial law extension)
He declared martial law in the region on May 23 after government troops clashed with members of the Maute Group and the Abu Sayyaf Group.
“Bakit kinakailangang isailalim ang Mindanao sa martial law ng 5 pang buwan? Ano ba ang layunin nito? Ano'ng kapangyarihan ng Pangulo ang gustong ipatupad sa panahong ito sa ilalim ng martial law na iba sa kapangyarihang ipinagkaloob sa kanya ng batas at ng Konstitusyon? Sa ilalim ng pinalawig na panahong ito, anu-ano ang inaasahang mangyari ng Pangulo?” asked LP.
(Why does Mindanao need to be placed under martial law for 5 more months? What are the objectives? What powers does the President want to exercise during this period under martial law that is distinct from the powers granted to him by law and the Constitution? Under the extension period, what does the President hope to accomplish?)
“Ito ay ilan sa mga katanungang nais natin at ng sambayanan na masagot at malaman sa joint session (These are some of the questions we, together with the Filipino people, want answered during the joint session),” said the former ruling party.
LP chairperson and Vice President Leni Robredo shared her party mates' sentiments, saying Duterte’s reasons for making the request should be thoroughly heard and discussed.
Several House leaders, including Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, believes Congress will likely grant the extension of martial law. Duterte counts a majority of lawmakers, including some LP members in the House, as his allies.
LP senators have joined the minority bloc after they were stripped of their leadership posts. – Rappler.com