At a joint session, Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero, who is not identified as an opposition senator, argued that martial law “cannot be the new normal” for Mindanao.
Escudero Staff / Released, File
Martial law can’t be ‘new normal’ in Mindanao, says Escudero
Gaea Katreena Cabico (philstar.com) - December 12, 2018 - 12:57pm

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero expressed opposition to President Rodrigo Duterte’s request to prolong the implementation of martial law in Mindanao, saying the military rule cannot be normalized in the entire region.

At a joint session Wednesday, Escudero, who is not identified as an opposition senator, argued that martial law “cannot be the new normal” for Mindanao.

He said that economic growth and maintenance of peace and order in Mindanao was achieved not because of martial law but due to the attention and resources poured into the region by the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.

“Mindanao achieved economic growth. Mindanao achieved unprecedented maintenance of peace and order in their area and it can do so even without martial law,” Escudero said.

“Give credit to where credit is due. Give credit to yourselves and not merely to martial law,” he told president’s men present at the joint session.

Earlier, Senate minority leader Franklin Drilon pointed out the martial cannot be used as an instrument to make governance more effective.

“Martial law is the highest form of self-preservation, it cannot be the norm,” the opposition lawmaker said.

Escudero, moreover, stressed that maintenance of peace and order and the clamor of local governments and residents are not constitutional justifications for the extension of martial law.

The Constitution is clear that martial law may be declared only in cases of actual rebellion when public safety requires it.

 “Wala namang pinagkaiba legally sa ilalim ng saligang batas ang pagkakaroon ng batas militar at ordinaryong pamumuhay ng tao kung walang batas militar. Ang pwedeng gawin ng administrayon, pulis, militar, maski anong ahensya ng gobyerno, pwede pa rin gawin kahit walang batas militar,” he said.

The 17th Congress is currently conducting a joint session, tackling President Rodrigo Duterte’s request to extend martial law in Mindanao for another year. If approved by a majority vote in Congress, the extension is expected to last until Dec. 31, 2019.

CHIZ ESCUDERO MARTIAL LAW IN MINDANAO
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