Mindanao martial law extension done deal -- lawmaker

December 09, 2018
Danilo Suarez

WITH the overwhelming support of the House leadership, an opposition House leader admitted yesterday that the approval of martial law extension and suspension of the writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao for another year during a joint session of Congress this Wednesday is just a matter of formality.

House Minority Leader and Quezon Rep. Danilo “Danny” Suarez said he supports the request of the police and military authorities because they know the real situation on the ground.

“We’ve seen no shooting, but it does not mean that Mindanao is safe from the recurrence of terrorism similar of that Marawi crisis. The police and military analyze and understand the situation and let’s give that (martial law extension) option to them. I urge my colleagues to adhere to their request,” said Suarez in an interview.

Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo assured President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte that the House of Representatives would grant his request.

Arroyo said her leadership is just awaiting the formal request from President Duterte on the matter.

“If it comes to our Chamber, I will recommend that we pass it,” said Arroyo.

House Majority Floor Leader and Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando “Nonoy” Andaya, Jr. reiterated his support for extending martial law in Mindanao for one year or from December 31, 2018 to December 31, 2019.

“If the President will ask for it, then chances are it shall be given,” said Andaya, who chairs the House Committee on Rules, stressing that “the concurrence will be expedited if the military and the police will renew their commitment to respect the constitutional rights of every individual in the territory covered by the declaration.”

“The inputs and views of the congressmen from Mindanao, who represent the people directly affected, will carry much weight during the deliberations,” said Andaya.