THE implementing guidelines on martial law in Mindanao that will be in effect under an extended martial law is unconstitutional, a lawmaker said Saturday.
Rep. Antonio Tinio of Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) party-list issued the warning during his interpellation of Armed Forces Chief Eduardo Año during the special joint session by the Senate and House of Representatives to deliberate on President Rodrigo Duterte’s proposal to extend martial law for another five months and to suspend the writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao.
Tinio was referring to the operational guidelines on martial law, which Año enumerated during the session at the Batasang Pambansa.
“Based on this operational guidelines, martial law can be implemented because of major natural disasters or when there is nearby civil unrest. These are not provided for under the Constitution,” Tinio said.
“Under the Constitution, martial law can only be declared in case of rebellion, or when public safety requires it. Having said that, the operational guidelines on implementing martial law has been unconstitutional all along,” Tinio said.
Tinio also questioned why the military would need five more months of martial law even if the number of armed rebels were down to 80.
“Why does the military need five months [of martial law]to defeat 80 armed fighters when you have the full capacity of the Armed Forces of the Philippines at your disposal?” Tinio asked.
Lorenzana said: “We still need the extension [of martial law]because we still have a lot of problems in Central Mindanao, Basilan and Sulu. Because of what happened in Marawi, we kind of overlooked what is happening in Jolo because we redeployed our forces in [Marawi], Lanao del Sur.”