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Senate minority bloc opposes Mindanao martial law extension


By Mario Casayuran

The five-member Senate bloc opposed Saturday any move to extend military rule in Mindanao beyond the Dec. 31, 2017 deadline granted by Congress.



’We propose that the martial law in Mindanao be lifted as soon as possible so that we can all focus on the rehabilitation of the devastated lives and livelihoods of the people of Marawi City and nearby areas,’’ the minority bloc members said.

Members of the opposition group in the Upper Chamber are Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon and Senators Paolo Benigno Aquino IV, Risa Hontiveros, Francis Pangilinan and Antonio F. Trillanes IV.

The minority senators pointed out that even military leaders have declared that Marawi city is no longer under the stranglehold of the terrorist Maute gang.

So there is no reason to extend military rule in Mindanao and that peace and order problems could be addressed by the Philippine National Police (PNP), they said.

‘’Instead of focusing on extending martial law, the government should train its sights on the quick rehabilitation of Marawi City so our Maranao brothers and sisters can resume their normal lives at the soonest possible time,’’ they stressed.

The minority in the Senate is ready to support government plans and programs to bring Marawi City back on its feet, they added.

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