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Martial law extension needs justification, says Drilon

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said Malacañang should go back to Congress armed with evidence to convince lawmakers that the martial law President Rodrigo Duterte declared over Mindanao until the end of year should be extended. AP/Bullit Marquez, File

MANILA, Philippines — The possible extension of martial law in Mindanao will require credible justification before it can be approved by Congress, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said yesterday.

 Drilon said Malacañang should go back to Congress armed with evidence to convince lawmakers that the martial law President Duterte declared over Mindanao until the end of year should be extended.

“Let us decide on the basis of evidence. They said the problem has already been addressed, but now they’re asking for an extension,” Drilon said over dzBB.

“We’ll ask what’s their basis why this martial law has to be extended,” he said.

Drilon is among four senators who voted against the extension of martial law in July, which included Senators Risa Hontiveros, Paolo Benigno Aquino IV and Francis Pangilinan.

He said he is reserving judgment on the matter until Duterte formally seeks the approval of the Senate and the House of Representatives in a joint session and his Cabinet present their arguments.

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He said under the Constitution, the power to possibly extend martial law rests on Congress.

Drilon said Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar’s statement that the Armed Forces’ proposal to extend martial law was “deemed accepted” by Duterte has weight as far as the executive branch is concerned.

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