House, Senate to take up Mindanao martial law extension in joint session

December 07, 2018

THE House of Representatives and Senate will conduct a joint session to discuss the extension of martial law.

Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. said they will discuss it on December 12, or before going on a month-long Christmas break.

“I think we are inclined to grant it (martial law extension),” Andaya said.

Even Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is not opposed to the idea of extending martial law in Mindanao for another year.

However, Andaya said they are requesting the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) or Philippine National Police (PNP) to provide members of Congress a comprehensive report about martial law and its effects in the region for the last two years.

President Rodrigo Duterte imposed martial law in the entire Mindanao following the attack of Maute and Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) on Marawi in May 2017. Initially it was only six months but was extended until end of 2017.

Duterte again asked for an extension until December 2018, which Congress granted.

Andaya said they want a briefing from military and intelligence community about the need to extend martial law.

“Sana magkaroon ng kumbaga parang LEDAC na ma-explain naming kasama ‘yung military, intelligence community at saka makonsulta rin ‘yung mga tagaroon mismo. Siyempre iba naman ‘yung kami, pananaw namin, actually wala naman kami roon. So it’s quite difficult to be arguing something na wala kami sa kumbaga on the ground,” Andaya said.

“So if we can also have inputs from people on the ground, then it will be better. Medyo mas mapapabilis pa ang pag-grant nu’ng extension,” he added.