Senators keep safe distance from possible extension of martial law in Mindanao

Published October 19, 2018, 6:28 PM

by Roel Tibay

By Mario Casayuran

Senators have kept a safe distance from the possible extension of Martial Law in Mindanao.

‘’That is an issue that is best resolved by the Supreme Court and since there is a pending petition under deliberation, it is prudent and wise not to make a comment on the matter at hand,’’ said Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson, chairman of the Senate public order and dangerous drugs committee.

Senator Panfilo Lacson (Candice Reyes / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)
Senator Panfilo Lacson (Candice Reyes / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

‘’We will assess the present situation in Mindanao before deciding to allow another extension of martial law,’’ he added.

Sen. Gregorio ‘’Gringo’’ B. Honasan II, chairman of the Senate national defense and security committee and a former Army colonel, said he would listen to justification for or against martial law administrators.

Mindanao has seen violence erupting time and again as a result of secessionist activities since the past five decades.

The latest big flare-up took place last year leading to the Marawi siege where soldiers and Muslim terrorists slugged it out for months.

But opposition Sen. Francis N. Pangilinan, president of the Liberal Party (LP), stressed that he opposed the declaration of martial law over the whole of Mindanao then.

He maintained that there is no indication that there is an actual invasion or rebellion.

‘’We just passed the BOL (Bangsamoro Organic Law); Major peace efforts are underway. Here we see peace initiatives making major headway and unprecedented stride and yet military rule is to be extended,’’ he pointed out.

‘’It looks like the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing,’’ he added.