SENATE President Aquilino Pimentel 3rd echoed a view in the upper chamber that President Rodrigo Duterte must first inform Congress if he would extend martial law in Mindanao.
Majority leader Franklin Drilon said only Congress has the power to extend martial law. “It is the President who initiates that there must be an extension and it behooves Congress to approve it.”
The President issued on May 23 Proclamation 216 placing Mindanao under martial law to quell the Maute group’s rebellion and end the crisis in Marawi City. The validity of martial law ends on July 22.
Drilon suggested that “to avoid any question, the President should advise Congress that it is his intention to extend martial law.”
For his part, Pimentel, an ally of Duterte, said, “I agree with Sen. Drilon. Extension must be requested before the end of the original term. We need a briefing too on the progress of martial law from May 23 up to this time.”
Drilon said: “The President, before July 22, which is the last day of the president’s proclamation, informs Congress that he intends to extend martial before the expiry on July 22, which is a Saturday.” BERNADETTE TAMAYO