Lawmakers gather for a special joint session on the possible extension of martial law in the southern Philippines, Saturday, July 22, 2017, in Quezon city northeast of Manila, Philippines. Martial Law was declared by President Duterte last May 23 for 60 days following the siege by Muslim militants of Marawi city which is now on its second month. AP/Bullit Marquez

FULL TEXT: Resolution approving the extension of Mindanao martial law
Pia Lee-Brago (philstar.com) - July 23, 2017 - 2:44am

MANILA, Philippines – Congress on Saturday approved by an overwhelming majority the extension of martial law in Mindanao until the end of the year, a measure that at least two lawmakers consider too limited.

Kusug Tausug party-list Rep. Shernee Abubakar Tan voted in favor of the extension along with 244 other members of the House of Representatives. "I also want martial law to be imposed throughout the country," she also said during the joint session of Congress. She later told reporters that it is just a matter of getting used to being under a state of martial law.

House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, meanwhile, said in an interview on ANC that while he was happy that Congress approved the extension of martial law, he personally believes that martial law should be in place for the next five years. 

"Matagal na panahon na na yung Mindanao hindi makaahon sa kahirapan sa kadahilanan nga nitong mga rebelyon na ito, yung mga gulo. Kaya nga yun ang rason kung bakit pino-propose ko sana na limang taon para tapusin na lahat ng porma, lahat ng forms of rebellion, sa Mindanao at makaahon naman ang mga tao sa Mindanao," he said.

In total, 261 members of Congress voted in favor of extension against just 18 voted against it.

At the Senate, 16 members voted for extension against just 4 who did not. Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, who opposes martial law, was out of the country while Sen. Leila de Lima is in jail on drug charges filed against her by the government.

The extension of martial law, and indeed the original declaration itself on May 23, has raised concerns of potential human rights violations by security forces. Non-government organizations had earlier reported potential abuses like looting and rape threats against women but these were dismissed as mere allegations or blamed on terrorists still holding four barangays in Marawi City. 

Read the full text of the resolution approving the extension of martial law in Mindanao below:

 

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