The 17th Congress on Saturday, July 22 agreed to extend martial law in Mindanao until December 31, as requested by President Rodrigo Duterte.
Lawmakers and senators were given a chance to explain their votes before the plenary. Among them was Albay 1st District Representative Edcel Lagman, who voted against the extension.
Here is the full text of Lagman's speech as provided by his office.
I vote against any extension of the martial law imposition under Proclamation Number 216 dated 23 May 2017 for 3 overriding reasons:
First, there is no sufficient factual basis for any extension in the same manner that there was no adequate factual anchorage for the original declaration of martial law under Proclamation Number 216.
What is happening in Marawi City is lawless violence amounting to terrorism, but not actual rebellion. The President and his subalterns failed to sufficiently show the element of culpable political purpose of the terrorist groups.
The following “justifications” to show culpable intent are mere propaganda schemes of the terrorists which the military purveys as truth:
The foregoing do not evince the culpable political purpose of a rebellion in view of the following reasons:
The current escalating number of deaths of both combatants and civilians, massive destruction of public and private properties, and the widespread displacement of residents which approximates a humanitarian crisis, are all the aftermath of the declaration of martial law which will further be aggravated by an extension of martial law.
Second, the coverage of martial law cannot be extrapolated to the whole of Mindanao where there is no actual rebellion as admitted by no less than the martial law administrator Defense Secretary Lorenzana.
The alleged threat or danger of the supposed “rebellion” in Marawi to spill over to other parts of Mindanao is akin to “imminent danger” of rebellion which has been abandoned in the 1987 Constitution as ground for declaration of martial law.
The guiding safeguard prescribed by the constitution is the limited territory to be covered by a martial law imposition or extension where actual rebellion exists.
Third, the safeguard of the Constitution on the duration of martial law is to impose a limited period. Consequently, the original imposition of martial law should not be beyond 60 days. It stands to reason that any extension should not be more than 60 days. – Rappler.com