By: Elena Grace Flores
Senator Risa Hontiveros, who is known to defend criminals claims that the Du30 administration’s martial law has a record of distorting the rule of law. It allegedly mobilizes the state’s resources and machinery against its opponents. She insists that the situation in Mindanao seems to have similarity with that of the late President Ferdinand Marcos’ regime. Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año’s response to Hontiveros during a deliberation says it all: Only lawless individuals in Mindanao are afraid of the military rule. She should study the difference between the two versions as per the constitution itself.
Youtube Video by PH News Unfiltered
[VIDEO]: Sagutan ni Risa Hontiveros at Eduardo Año sa Martial Law extension sa House
Hontiveros expresses her sentiment that law enforcement agencies should rely on the 1987 Constitution on the fulfillment of their duties, and not on military rule. She is against the extension of martial law in Mindanao. Her reactions to the statements of Secretary Año during the joint session of the Congress are all critical to it unsurprisingly.
The Opposition Fears for the 2019 Elections
Senator Hontiveros expresses fears that the military rule can cause harassments to local and national politicians from the opposition. This pertains especially those who will run in the 2019 midterm elections. The Congress conducts a joint session to tackle the extension of martial law in Mindanao recently as per the request of the President. The continuing rebellion in Mindanao necessitates the need for additional power to law enforcement agencies. This is something that Hontiveros is uncomfortable about.
The House’s Support
House Majority Leader Andaya made a motion to approve the joint resolution for martial law extension in the joint session. The House backs the assessment of police and military officials. It agrees that there’s “a continuing rebellion in Mindanao.” Andaya, representative of Camarines Sur, said that the House believes a “further extension of martial law and the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus will enable the authorities to finally put an end to the rebellion. It can also keep it from escalating to other parts of the countr. Thus, prevent a catastrophe like in Marawi City.”
Twelve senators vote in support of the martial law extension. They are Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, and Senators Gregorio Honasan II. Panfilo Lacson, Richard Gordon, Cynthia Villar, Grace Poe, Aquilino Pimentel III, Joseph Victor Ejercito, Juan Edgardo Angara, Sherwin Gatchalian, and Emmanuel Pacquiao also said yes to it. Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo who presides the joint session with Senator Tito Sotto supports the martial law extension.
No votes for Martial Law Extension
There are five senators who are against the President’s desire for the military rule extension for the third time in Mindanao. They are Paolo Benigno Aquino IV, Franklin Drilon, Francis Escudero, Risa Hontiveros, and Francis Pangilinan. Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto abstained. The Senate and the House of Representatives vote to extend martial law and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in the whole Mindanao until the end of 2019 at 235-28-1. The Senate vote is at 12-5-1 and the House 223-23-0. This takes almost five hours of deliberations.