By Hannah Torregoza
Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero on Wednesday said martial law declaration should not be “the new normal.”
Escudero said this is the reason why he voted no to the Duterte administration’s move to extend martial law in Mindanao for another year which was decided upon by Congress through a joint voting.
According to Escudero, he sees no strong basis to extend it anew. He also reiterated that the Constitution empowers the President to declare the country or parts of it under martial rule only in case of “invasion or rebellion when public requires it.”
“Rebellion at invasion, at hindi pagpapanatili ng peace and order, pagpapaganda ng ekonomiya at hindi dahil gusto ng tao ang magiging basehan ng martial law (and not about ensuring peace and order, or to improve the economy and not because the people want the basis for martial law),” the senator said.
Escudero is the only member of the Senate majority bloc who voted no to the extension of martial law during the voting. He agreed with the reasons and concerns raised by the Senate minority bloc led by Sen. Franklin Drilon.
As far as he is concerned, Escudero said Mindanao can achieve and has already achieved progress and peace through the efforts of the administration not because of martial law because it can do and not do the same things with or without martial law.
“Can we not maintain this norm without resorting to extraordinary measures?” the lawmaker said.
“Martial law cannot be the new normal in Mindanao. I wish Mindanao will continue to achieve peace and progress not because of the taint of martial law. Let us give credit to ourselves, not martial law,” he stressed. [Hannah L. Torregoza]