By Ben Rosario
Former president and now Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo yesterday declared her all-out support for the proposed extension of martial law in Mindanao, saying that she will maintain such backing “as long as it is needed.”
Arroyo revealed her stand after Armed Forces chief of staff General Carlito Galvez recommended another extension of the martial law regime in Mindanao for another 12 months starting January 2019.
“If it comes to our chamber I will recommend that we pass it,” Arroyo told reporters yesterday.
Arroyo said her personal experience as president who declared martial law over Maguindanao in 2009 serves as her basis in supporting the military rule in Mindanao.
She recalled that when she issued the martial law declaration, she did so after receiving confirmed reports that private armies headed by the Ampatuan family were decided at fighting government forces that were supporting the investigation of the Maguindanao massacre of 52 persons.
Arroyo quickly recalled the martial law declaration after it became clear that the situation normalized.
The former chief executive noted that objection to martial law in Mindanao are being registered by people outside Mindanao.
She clarified that her position on martial law should not be taken as the stand of the whole house, stressing that this is her personal stand.
The military briefed House members of the peace and order situation in Mindanao in a closed-door meeting yesterday.
The House of Representatives and Senate will convene in a joint session on Wednesday morning to decide on Prsident Duterte’s bid to extend the martial law rule in Mindanao.
The one-year martial rule granted by Congress last year is due to expire December 31, 2018.