Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said the amendments to the Human Security Act should not be a prerequisite to the lifting of martial law in Mindanao.
“Do not dangle lifting martial law in Mindanao in exchange for the speedy passage of the Human Security Act,” Drilon said, reacting to statements made by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Monday that another extension would not be necessary if Congress amends the Human Security Act.
“The passage or non-passage of the amendments to the Human Securities Act is not a ground for extending martial law in Mindanao,” Drilon stressed.
The martial law in Mindanao is set to expire on December 31, 2019.
“The Constitution is clear: martial law may be declared if actual rebellion exists and Congress may extend the declaration if the rebellion persists and public safety requires it,” Drilon said, citing Section 18, Article VII of the Constitution.
“That is the only ground for extension of martial law. But it is clear since day one that the martial law or its extension in Mindanao has no basis,” Drilon said.
“It is high time that we lift bring back normalcy in the region,” he added.
Drilon said that Congress can revoke martial law any time sans amendments to the Human Security Act.
Drilon said Sec. Lorenzana is correct in voicing out what everybody thinks of martial law and that is, “it has been going on for too long.”
“I hope they will not use martial law to put pressure on Congress to pass the amendments to the Human Security Act. The non-passage of the amendments to the Human Security Act should not be used as a basis or justification to further extend martial law. The amendments need thorough debates,” Drilon said.
Earlier, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte said she was considering asking that her city be exempted from the declaration of martial law.