The House of Representatives’ Makabayan Bloc
MANILA, Philippines – The House of Representatives’ Makabayan Bloc has expressed grave concern over the decision of Congress to extend for another year the military rule in Mindanao.
With this, the opposition group wants to bring the matter to the Supreme Court (SC).
“We will question this in courts. We will question and we will resist this on streets,” Anakpawis Partylist Rep. Ariel Casilao said.
“Like the mentored resource person, this is a psychological war against the public. This is not a matter of public safety. They want to impose a state of fear. To fear the public so they won’t fight. But this is a huge mistake,” Bayan Muna Partylist Rep. Carlos Zarate
This is also what the Senate’s minority bloc plans to do.
“Bring the issue to the Supreme Court, raise the factual basis for the extension of martial law because there is no actual uprising, nor armed conflict that will justify the extension, the imposition of martial law,” Senate minority leader Senator Franklin Drilon said.
However, some senators believe the public has nothing to worry about in the decision of Congress to approve the request of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Especially since, the Senators said, there have been no reported human rights violations in Mindanao during the existing military rule.
“In a way it’s a blessing in disguise because the consciousness, the awareness of the people that there is a martial law allows us to focus our attention on the security forces. It might even be a deterrent against possible abuses,” Sen. Panfilo Lacson said.
“Where have been the abuses? Where have been the confirmed abuses? We asked for a briefing from the CHR (Commission on Human Rights), there have been no confirmed abuses,” Senate President Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III said.
According to Pimentel, the Congress will not allow the Executive Department to abuse the rights lawmakers and senators gave them.
“If there is no justification then you can expect, Congress or the Senate to oppose the imposition of martial law,” Pimentel said.
National Security Adviser Secretary Hermogenes Esperon also allayed fears over the alleged possibility of declaring military rule in the entire country.
“Because here in Visayas and Luzon, many of people here can commit insurgency. They can do small deployments,” Esperon said.
Esperon also emphasized that the decision of Congress i a huge help to them in achieving long lasting peace in the region of Mindanao. – Nel Maribojoc | UNTV News & Rescue