SENATE Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said on Thursday that only Congress had the power to extend martial law.
Drilon dismissed the claim of Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Secretary Salvador Panelo that President Rodrigo Duterte could just issue a new martial law proclamation if Congress did not extend Proclamation 216 placing Mindanao under martial law.
“The Constitution is clear that it is Congress that has the power to extend martial law and the President may only recommend. You cannot circumvent the Constitution,” Drilon said.
He said that Panelo’s advise to the President to just issue a new proclamation if and when Congress would not approve of an extension was “an affront to the Constitution.”
“Such action will be a circumvention of the Constitution because for all intents and purposes, it is nothing more but an extension of the existing proclamation,” he said. BERNADETTE E. TAMAYO