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EXPLANATION OF VOTE | EXTENSION OF MARTIAL LAW | SPECIAL JOINT SESSION OF CONGRESS | HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Mr. President, Mr. Speaker, I voted to extend the implementation of Martial Law in Mindanao until December 31, 2017.

The reports given by the Executive Branch support the findings that despite the intensified military operations, they have not completely quelled the armed conflict in Marawi City. In fact, there are scattered armed groups not only in Marawi City but in other parts of Mindanao.

Necessity creates the conditions for martial law and at the same time limits its scope. With the conditions existing in Marawi City, it is clear that public safety demands that the people of Mindanao be secured and protected from the terror and chaos of this new breed of rebellion through whichever legal means necessary. We must give the President ample latitude to exercise his discretion in choosing the proper medicine to cure the cancer of terrorism, even if it may be the extraordinary remedies of martial law and suspension of the privilege of the writ.

Looking forward, it is evident that the rehabilitation and recovery of Marawi City cannot truly begin until the rebel groups and their networks are completely destroyed. The roots of violent extremism have to be removed so that we may undertake in earnest the challenge of sustaining inclusive development in Marawi City and surrounding provinces. Allowing our government to exercise these extraordinary but limited powers now is a small sacrifice compared to the dire economic and security consequences of allowing extremism to take seed and spread throughout our country. We need to trust that with sufficient time and latitude, the administration will only do what is necessary and just to secure a prosperous and safe future for our country.

To this end, I concur with the President's assessment that there is a necessity to continue the implementation of Martial Law until December 31 to achieve the paramount object of restoring peace under civilian authority.

Thank you Mr. President and Mr. Speaker

Source: Senate of the Philippines

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