Drilon: Martial law extension should be based on evidence

Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon said the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) should present evidence that will justify the extension of martial law in Mindanao.

Drilon made the statement in a radio interview on Sunday amidst talks of possible extension of Martial Law in Mindanao, which will lapse by December 31, 2017.

"Let us decide on the basis of the evidence. They said the problem has already been addressed, but now they're asking for an extension," Drilon said.

"Hihingin natin kung ano ang kanilang basehan bakit papahabain na naman itong martial law," he added.

He stressed that talks of possible extension of martial law in Mindanao would only create fear among Mindanaoans most especially the people of Marawi, who are struggling to bring their lives back to normal.

Drilon is among the four senators who voted against the extension or martial law last July, which included Senators Risa Hontiveros, Bam Aquino and Francis Pangilinan.

The minority leader also stressed that under the Constitution, it is Congress which will approve any possible extension of martial law.

He cited Section 18, Article VII of the Constitution, which provides that "upon the initiative of the President, the Congress may, in the same manner, extend such proclamation or suspension for a period to be determined by the Congress, if the invasion or rebellion shall persist and public safety requires it."

"Sa Saligang Batas ay dapat ay hilingin nila formally sa kongreso at ang kongreso ang may kapangyarihan na i-extend iyan," he said.

"Kaya ang palagay ko naman, yung 'deemed accepted' is it is deemed accepted by the President. Hindi naman siguro gagawin ng pangulo na i-extend, on his own account. Alam ng pangulo ang ating saligang batas, na ang dapat mag-authorize sa extension ay ang kongreso," Drilon said.

Source: Senate of the Philippines

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