HOR COMPLEX, Quezon City (DWDD) – Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez backed President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of martial law for the entire Mindanao following attacks in Marawi City of armed groups believed to be allied to the terrorist group Daesh (ISIS).
Rep. Alvarez said that as a Mindanaoan himself, he believes the President made the right move.
“Well, tama lang yung ginawa ng ating Presidente sa aking pananaw bilang isang taga-Mindanao ay talagang merong kaguluhan na nangyayari doon at ito ay matagal nang dinudusa nung ating bayan. Kaya siguro kailangan na ng talagang desisyon na nararapat para i-address itong problemang ito,” Alvarez said.
He noted that under the Constitution the President has the authority to put any area of the country under Martial Law or even the entire Philippines if necessary for the safety of the public.
Alvarez thinks that while the violence erupted only in Marawi City, terrorist groups are likely lurking in other areas of Mindanao and possibly in other areas of the country too.
“Tama lang yun. Maaaring yung kaguluhan ay nasa Marawi ngayon pero yung mga terrorista I think are everywhere. I’m sure everywhere in Mindanao and if not sa buong Pilipinas,” Alvarez said.
Alvarez also allayed concerns over possible abuse of authority as a consequence of the declaration of martial law.
“May mga safeguards sa ating Constitution. At in fact, pag binasa ninyo yung provision, kahit may martial law, hindi ibig sabihin na suspended yung mga korte natin—nagpa-function pa rin yun normally,” Alvarez said.
“Mayroon palaging pangangamba. Pero para sa akin I welcome yung resolve ng ating Pangulo na gawin kung ano yung tama to address once and for all yung terrorism na lumalala hindi lang dito sa Pilipinas kundi pati na rin sa ibang bansa,” he added.
Likewise, Alvarez said those who are saying the President’s move was a knee-jerk reaction do not really know the situation on the ground.
As mandated under the Constitution, Alvarez said Congress will convene in a joint within 48 hours of the declaration to review the report of the Executive department on the basis of the declaration of martial law.
So far, Alvarez said Congress has yet to receive any formal report of the Executive department on the declaration of martial law. He said it would likely be submitted after President Duterte’s arrival from his trip to Russia that the Chief Executive cut short following the violence in Marawi.
Under the Constitution, martial law should not exceed 60 days. However, Congress is also empowered to extend this period if necessary. CONGRESS / MCAG