By Mario Casayuran
Opposition Senator Antonio F. Trillanes IV said Saturday proposals by the military and police leaderships to extend for another year martial rule over Mindanao would be passed immediately because there are many members of the House of Representatives who are puppets of President Duterte.
‘’Alam mo naman sa kongreso maraming de susing tao dun. pag sinusian mo lang mga yun gagalaw yun,’’ Trillanes said during a DWIZ radio interview. (You all know that there are many House members who follow the bidding of someone powerful when that person put on the screws at the backs of House members who act as puppets.)
Trillanes said the existence of martial law in Mindanao does not enjoy the support of foreign investors.
In any joint Senate and House of Representatives session to tackle the proposed martial law extension, Sen. Joseph Victor ‘’JV’’ Ejercito said he would vote in favor a martial rule extension if leaders of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) can justify it.
Ejercito pointed out that people of Mindanao favor martial law because it has stymied the depredations of private armed groups and has led to the collection or seizure of illegal firearms.
Sen. Francis Escudero said he has to wait for the evidence to be presented by AFP and PNP leaders before making up his mind.
He, nevertheless, said those from Mindanao who are directly affected should be consulted.
On a joint voting on the proposal, Trillanes said there is a possibility that the majority in the 24-member Senate might not attend the session at all. There are actually 22 voting Senate members.
‘’Pag di sila pumunta dun walang quorum ang Senado therefore di mag-coconstitute ang joint session,’’ he pointed out. (If senators will not attend the joint session, a quorum will not be constituted in the Senate. Therefore the joint session would not be constituted.)
If there is no voting on the proposed martial law extension, then the current martial law would lapse, he pointed out,
The current martial law expires on December 2018.
He took potshots at President Duterte for using the martial law issue as one reason for abbreviating his state visit to Papua New Guinea (PNG).
As a former military officer, Trillanes said President Duterte should have stayed at the PNG as scheduled since the martial law issue could be discussed with AFP and PNP leaders upon his arrival at the airport.
‘’Kasi ang approval rating nya bumubulusok, lumiliwanag na ang kayang gawin ni Duterte, tamad, corrupt…pati droga di na raw nya magagawa yan, eh paano ikaw ang nag iimport ng shabu,’’ he said. (Because his popularity is going down, it is clear that President Duterte can only focus on the lazy and corrupt. He even admitted that he could not control the inflow of illegal drugs. How can he when he is the one importing ‘’shabu’’ (crystal meth.)