Party-list solons have expressed strong objection to the extension of martial law in Mindanao.
Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin, ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio and Bayan Muna Rep. Carlo Isagani Zarate said there is no basis for the AFP to recommend another year of martial rule in the southern region.
According to Villarin, it is becoming a new normal and habit-forming for the military to take over civilian functions in addressing peace and order concerns.
“It is straining too much the constitutional limits and raison d’etre of martial law. Since when has public clamor become a basis for imposing martial law? It’s a dangerous precedent and a militaristic mindset. Another extension is an admission that martial law has failed its objectives,” Villarin said.
Villarin slammed the AFP for not providing Congress regular updates on the martial law in Mindanao.
“If the AFP and Department of National Defense (DND) return to Congress seeking another extension, they will have a lot of explaining to do other than bringing in public opinion surveys,” Villarin said.
For Tinio, another extension and expansion of martial law will only lead to more human rights violations and harassment by the military, paramilitary and the police.