Martial Law in Mindanao: With No Security Briefing, Why Extend?
FOR THE third time, martial law in Mindanao has been extended. A Joint Session of Congress on December 12 extended its effectivity until December 2019 with a total of 235 affirmative votes, 28 negative and one abstention.
In his letter to the 17th Congress, President Rodrigo Duterte said that security assessment by the military and police “highlight certain essential facts which indicate that rebellion still persists in Mindanao and that public safety requires the continuation of martial law in the whole of Mindanao.” He mentioned several armed groups such as the Abu Sayaff, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and Daulah Ismaliyah. He also cited the communist insurgency. But several lawmakers argued that no actual rebellion nor other empirical data justified the extension.
Senator Franklin Drilon had proposed in 2017 that security officials report regularly on conditions and implementation of Martial Law. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana agreed this would be done.
CMFR cheers MindaNews for reporting on the failure of the Department of National Defense (DND) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to submit such reports.
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