Press Release
December 4, 2018

Drilon rejects martial law extension

Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon thumbed down plans to extend martial law in the entire Mindanao for another year.

"The proposed second extension of martial law is unconstitutional," Drilon said.

"There is no basis for a second extension of martial law as there was no ground that necessitated the first extension," he added.

Drilon issued the statement amidst reports that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) will recommend another extension of martial law in Mindanao.

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

Drilon said Section 18, Article VII of the Constitution states that martial law may only be extended "if the invasion or rebellion shall persist and public safety requires it."

"I may sound like a broken record but for the nth time, I would repeat: there is no actual rebellion. Rebellion no longer persists in Mindanao," Drilon stressed.

The former justice secretary explained that rebellion is committed by rising publicly and taking arms against the government for the purpose of removing from its allegiance to the Philippines and any part thereof.

He said that AFP Chief Carlito Galvez's statement that they will recommend an extension of martial law because "terrorism is still lurking in the area" would confirm that there is no actual rebellion happening in Mindanao.

"There may be threats of rebellion, but what the Constitution clearly requires as a ground for declaring and extending martial law is the presence of actual rebellion," he added.

"Let us not normalize martial law. Instead, let us help bring back normalcy in the lives of our brothers and sisters in Mindanao, Drilon said.

The opposition senator said that the AFP and PNP can very well exercise their powers under the law without placing the south under martial law.

"Even without martial law, I have full confidence in the capability of our military and the police to suppress criminals, rebels and terrorist," he said.

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