By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Local labor group leader Wennie Sancho and former Bayan Muna Representative Neri Colmenares both expressed their opposition to the extension of Martial Law in Mindanao, which was overwhelmingly approved in a recent joint session of Congress.
Sancho, in a text message yesterday, said the approval shows a disregard for the safeguards of the 1987 constitution.
“If Martial Law was declared in areas of Mindanao where there is no armed rebellion, what is the assurance that Martial Law will not be declared in Visayas and Luzon?” Sancho asked.
Sancho cited the deadly encounter in Guihulngan City and other skirmishes between government troops and the New People’s Army as a “dangerous precedent that could place the whole country under martial law.”
Colmenares, meanwhile, questioned the extension, citing the Zamboanga Siege during the administration of former President Benigno S. Aquino III, where Martial Law was not declared.
“They could not specifically explain what part of the Martial Law is needed in order to counter the Maute terror group,” Colmenares said.
He also expressed his concern over alleged human rights violations being perpetrated by government forces, which could affect the economy of the country.
On Saturday, a joint session of Congress approved the extension of Martial Law until December 31 of this year, with 245 congressmen and 16 senators voting “Yes.”
All members of Congress representing the Negros Island Region (NIR) voted with the majority./WDJ