Press Release
December 12, 2018


Mr President, we express great reservation with respect to the second extension of martial law in Mindanao for the very same reason that we vigorously opposed the Martial Law declaration the first time around.

Mr. President, we believe that equitable development is key to progress in Mindanao. Development that is centered on the interests of the people are the genuine solutions to the problems of the region. This can only be achieved if the basic values of freedom of expression and dissent, freedom of religion, respect and tolerance are present.

We reiterate that martial law under the 1987 constitution is an extraordinary measure imposed only under the extreme situation of actual rebellion or invasion and only for a limited period.

Sabi nga ng isang practicing lawyer, kung ang isang abugado ay hihingi ng extension sa kaniyang 15-day period to file an appeal or motion for reconsideration, at hihingi siya ng 6 na buwang extension, tiyak denied 'yung kaniyang kahilingan.

We voted against a Mindanao-wide martial law for a period of six months the first time because the actual rebellion and siege was taking place in Marawi only and if it were to be imposed it should have been limited to the Marawi area, precisely because it is an extraordinary measure where actual rebellion is taking place. And only for a limited period. We can not understand how two years can be defined as a "limited period."

Prolonged martial rule in a large area affecting the lives of millions of our citizens is authoritarian and contrary to our constitutional democracy.

Worse it will not improve the economic welfare of our citizens. The recent history of long-term economic development in Mindanao will show that the unprecedented progress and economic growth in the 90s, under the Ramos administration, of cities such as Cagayan de Oro, General Santos and Davao City took place not under a martial law but during a time of aggressive peace initiatives under the then Ramos administration and more to the point under democratic governance.

The supporters of the martial law declaration asserted that the rehabilitation of Marawi would go unimpeded under martial law. This is clearly shown to be untrue. After over one year and a half of martial law, this administration has yet to show rehab in full swing and concrete projects meant for the rehabilitation of Marawi.

Finally we reiterate that the martial law declaration now extending for a period of two years is contrary to our Constitution. We in government no longer have the moral ascendancy to go after these terrorist organizations and armed groups who disregard our laws and our democracy when we do so in violation of our own Constitution.

We must go after the enemies of the state by enforcing and upholding our laws not by disregarding the very laws we are sworn to enforce and defend. By setting aside the laws on bending it in pursuit of our enemies, I'm afraid that we end up becoming the dragons that we seek to defeat.

I will adopt my manifestation earlier as explanation of my vote.

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