PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte needs to seek once against the approval of Congress if he intends to extend in Mindanao the declaration of martial, which will end on December 31, Senate Minority leader Franklin Drilon said Sunday.
According to Drilon, the Constitution requires that extension of martial must be formally requested by the President to both the Senate and the House of Representatives, which have the authority to grant it.
Drilon added that a request for extension should be made before the end of the martial declaration on December 31.
“Let us decide on the basis of the evidence presented,” Drilon said in an interview aired over dzBB.
Duterte placed the entire Mindanao under martial law on May 23 after the Islamic State (IS)-linked Maute group attacked and occupied Marawi City.
Under the Constitution, the President may declare martial law for a period not exceeding 60 days in case of “invasion or rebellion, when the public safety requires it.”
The Constitution also states that Congress “upon the initiative of the President” could “extend such proclamation or suspension for a period to be determined by Congress, if the invasion or rebellion shall persist and public safety requires it.”
Congress in a special joint session in July granted the President’s request to extended martial law in Mindanao until the end of 2017.
Malacañang said on Saturday that it accepted the recommendation of the military on the possible extension of martial law in Mindanao, but President Rodrigo Duterte has yet to decide on the matter. JEFFERSON ANTIPORDA