The Proclamation No. 216 has to stay for 150 days more all over Mindanao and the military rule was given a “shot of steroid” on Saturday by the 261 members of the Congress and Senate.
The commanding rule of majority has trounced the fourteen  minority members in opposition during the eight hours joint session. The 261 has proudly echoed the whims of the President, while the 14 anti has sided the constitution by saying NO – as there is no existence of the factual basis of rebellion, only state of lawlessness.
The July 23, 2017 joint session will be judged by history, particularly the members of the 17th Congress. The presidential explanation why there is an imperative to implement Martial law in Mindanao was never questioned in a joint session within the forty-eight hours after Martial Law was declared on May 23. It is the duty of the both chambers to ask the President’s decision to explain the basis of actual rebellion in Marawi. They abdicated their sworn duty to their constituents again, the majority did it again they approved its extension last Saturday.
Asking the President of “WHY” is the basic question of the hour on the eve of May 23 when the terrorists entered Marawi. The pocket of lawlessness was frantically construed as imminent threat to national security. The ugly face of counter terrorism has dominated the Marawi landscape.
The Palace has raised the red flag prematurely in declaring the impending peril of urban insurrection as an actual threat despite, Secretary Lorenzana’s admission that no recommendation of martial law that day.
The declaration of Proclamation 216 was started with flaws and the extention was again debatable because the civilian government of Marawi and the entire Lanao del Sur are still functional and the Armed Forces of the Philippines are in full control of the situation on the ground. Proof, the Philippine flag is still flying over the provincial capitol and in other government office.
In an event of any kind of dire circumstances, such as this the government of the Philippines and its officials are mandated to make necessary responses based on the constitution, not by mere naked instinct.
The extension of Martial law was tempered by partisan politics will just prolong the excruciating pain on the part of the internally displaced persons. Those who favored has painted the two chambers as an ‘Echoing Chamber‘ of the ruling party and the check-and-balance was never considered.
The stakes are high under Martial law. Suspension of Writ of Habeas Corpus are prone to abuse and the civil liberties of the civilians will be in jeopardy and certainly there will be more abuses and deaths on the war front as impunity will be the order of the day all over Mindanao.
Within the 150 days extension of military rule, rehabilitation plans can not be implemented inside Marawi. Tangible comprehensive clearing operations will be done inside the ruined city and reconstruction and rehabilitation will take the back seat for sure.
Under the extended military rule the prospect of deescalating the conflict between the government troops and all armed groups operating in Mindanao is bleak.
The sponsors of the extension of Martial law will be held responsible in due time as the suspension of the Writ of Habeas Copus hangs in the balance. The trouble is, they predicted that Martial law is the cure all approach on the fragile conditions of Mindanao, when in fact the trajectory of cultural injustices were never considered.
The symptoms are there. The joint lawlessness of Maute and Hapilon are only the effects, which was a cause of neglect and cultural injustices. Prolonging the Martial will not suppress the pain like using fentanyl as pain reliever. Proclamation No. 216 will just scratch the “cultural wounds” by unleashing the dogs of war to pursue the government enemies in the Promised Land. It will just create a more chaos and more enemies.
Place the whole of Lanao del Sur under military rule, not the whole of Mindanao.
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