September 21, 2017, 8:04 pm
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Wait for decision on martial law: DND

DEFENSE Secretary Delfin Lorenzana yesterday said he submitted his recommendation to President Duterte on the fate of martial law in Mindanao last Thursday.

The martial law declaration, embodied in Proclamation 216, is due to expire on Saturday.

Lorenzana, the designated martial law administrator, however, did not say whether he recommended the extension of martial law which Duterte declared hours after Maute Group members laid a siege on Marawi City last May 23.

“I gave it last Thursday,” said Lorenzana. 

Lorenzana earlier received a recommendation from AFP chief and martial law implementor Gen. Eduardo Año as to how they are going to proceed with the martial law.

“No comment on what he (Año) recommended nor mine. Let us wait for the decision of the President,” said Lorenzana.

Pressed how he would describe his recommendation, Lorenzana said: “No comment. Let us wait for the President’s decision.” He declined to say when the President’s decision will come out.

As to Ano’s recommendation, Lorenzana said: “It could be the same as mine or another. If they’re different, our detractors will pit us against each other. It’s better that we wait.”

AFP spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla earlier said the military’s recommendation whether to extend or lift martial will be based on the assessment of the situation on the ground.

Padilla said the assessment will also consider the “operational objectives” that were given to the Armed Forces following the declaration of martial law.

The objective includes the arrest of about 300 individuals named in the two arrest orders issued by Lorenzana. Padilla said around 60 of these individuals have only been arrested so far.

Senate minority leader Franklin Drilon said any extension of martial law must not exceed the original 60-day period provided by the 1987 Constitution.

“We cannot have an unlimited or ‘unli’- martial law in Mindanao,” Drilon, a former justice secretary, said in an interview with DZBB radio.

“Any declaration of martial law must be regularly reviewed, since it is the spirit of the present Constitution that that specific power of the President must be subject to a regular review. It should never be perpetual or even too long,” he said.

Drilon said under the Constitution, it is ultimately Congress which will approve any possible extension of Proclamation 216. 

He said he and the rest of the minority senators will support any proposed resolution to “immediately convene Congress in joint session to hear the explanations of the executive branch on the extension of martial law.”

Sen. Risa Hontiveros said: “We have been constantly threatened with ‘unli-martial law.’ President Duterte views martial law as unli-rice. And Congress is like a carinderia. Even if there is no order yet for unli-martial law, it is ready to serve it to the President.”
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