By Glendel Nazario
Militant groups Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay) and Movement Against Tyranny (MAT) condemned the move to extend Martial Law in Mindanao, calling it “patently unconstitutional” and a “threat to democracy and peace in the whole country.”
In a statement, Kadamay claims that the extended imposition of the suspension of writ of habeas corpus would lead to the eviction of thousands of the urban poor in Marawi, and other Mindanao cities.
Kadamay national president Gloria (Ka Bea) Arellano said that the reconstruction of Marawi is an opportunity for the Duterte regime to get rid of thousands of informal settlers without having to provide even the minimum, and insufficient, housing and financial assistance that is mandated by law.
Militant group MAT mentioned in a statement that the Martial Law extension is unconstitutional due to the fact that it fails to meet the constitutional requirements of an actual rebellion or invasion, in the event that public safety requires it.
They added that President Duterte in fact declared Marawi liberated from ISIS in October, followed by the end of all combat operations and the start of the city’s rehabilitation.
With regard however, to the supposed heightened activities of the CPP-NPA, they said that this is nothing new and is better addressed through comprehensive peace negotiations rather than all-out war.
“The Constitution does not contemplate martial law as a means to strengthen law enforcement, ensure public safety and security, conduct counterinsurgency campaigns, or address threats of lawless violence, however imminent. The President is already granted wide police powers and extraordinary calling out powers on the military for such purposes, without having to declare martial law.”
The Congress in a joint session on Wednesday approved on a vote of 240-27 the request of President Rodrigo Duterte to extend Martial Law in Mindanao up to December 31, 2018.