VICE President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo has warned against the hurried approval of a proposal by President Rodrigo Duterte to extend martial law and suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus (allowing warrantless arrests) in Mindanao.
Robredo, who visited Marawi City evacuees twice in Iligan City, issued the statement three days before the House of Representatives and the Senate would convene for a special joint session to vote for or against the proposal to extend martial law.
“It would be better for Congress to debate on this [exhaustively]so that in the event that it is granted, it will be granted because the discussion was comprehensive. If it is denied, then it should be for the same reason that it was widely discussed,” Robredo told reporters on Wednesday after visiting Malabon for consultations for her office’s anti-poverty initiative Angat Buhay program.
The vice president, however, deferred comment on how long the extension should be.
“I am not in a position to say what is needed and for how long should martial law be implemented because we don’t have all the information. That’s why the discussion on Saturday is important,” Robredo said.
“We need to listen to the arguments on why it should he extended,” Robredo added.
Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said the President’s proposed five-month extension of martial law would be speedily approved in Congress.