- Lawmakers finally approved President Rodrigo Duterte’s request to extend martial law in Mindanao for one year
- Duterte’s request earned 14-4 votes in Senate and 226-23 votes in Congress
- Drilon believed that the martial law extension in Southern Philippines can be “prelude to declaring martial law nationwide”
Filipino lawmakers have granted the request of President Rodrigo Duterte to extend the martial law imposition in the Mindanao region for another year (or until Dec. 2018). The extension aims to “totally eradicate Islamic State-inspired terror groups.”
Based on Article VII, Section 18 of the 1987 Constitution, KAMI learned that martial law declaration may be extended if the majority of all its members voted in favor of it in a regular or special session. The votes resulted in a 14-4 in the Senate and 226-23 in the Congress.
In Senate, only the four minority senators — Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon and Senators Risa Hontiveros, Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, and Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV — voted against the Mindanao martial law extension. As per GMA News, the minority senators questioned the legality of the president’s request.
The minority senators even cited Duterte’s declaration in October that Marawi City has been “liberated.” Drilon, on the other hand, believed that another extension can lead up to a nationwide martial law declaration.
“The NPA conflict has been there for the last four decades,” Drilon said during the Congress’ joint session. “Suddenly, the NPA is cited as an additional group for martial law extension in Mindanao… Is this now a prelude to declaring martial law nationwide?”
As for Pangilinan, the senator questioned the length of the extension. Pangilinan said that Duterte’s powers to declare a military rule should not be imposed “whimsically or arbitrarily."
In line with the extended martial law in Mindanao, ABS-CBN News reported that tourists are still worried to travel in the southern part of the country. In fact, the travel warning issued by the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom are still not lifted, as of press time.
The Department of Tourism also agrees that many tourists are still worried to travel in Mindanao despite the martial law declaration.
As the issues surrounding our local politics become intense, KAMI wants to share a video titled, "Kids answer BIG questions," which will surely make adults realize that it's fun to be kids again.