HOUSE Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will support President Rodrigo Duterte should he request Congress to further extend martial law in Mindanao.
"I support martial law in Mindanao. I support what the President does because I’ve been president and I believe that he does not need a peanut gallery to tell him what to do,” said Arroyo when interviewed at the sidelines of the blessing of the Romana Pangan District Hospital in Floridablanca, Pampanga on Thursday, August 30.
House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr., for his part, said martial law is the call of the executive.
“The President declares or extends, Congress concurs,” he said.
“If the President will ask for it, then it shall be given,” added the majority leader.
He said he would suggest to Malacañang to call for a meeting with the National Security Council and the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (Ledac) to discuss the progress of the ongoing Marawi rehabilitation and the implementation of the Bangsamoro Organic Law.
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on Wednesday, August 29, said the government considers another martial law extension as an “option” following the bombing incident in Sultan Kudarat that killed three people and wounded at least 35 others last Tuesday, August 28.
Just weeks before the Sultan Kudarat bombing, a bomb exploded in the town of Lamitan in Basilan. The July 31 explosion killed 11 people and injured eight others.
The President placed Mindanao under martial law on May 23, 2017, shortly after Maute terrorists took over Marawi City in Lanao del Sur.
Under the Constitution, martial law may be declared for 60 days. Congress extended it to December 31, 2017 and, upon the request of the President, extended it further to December 31, 2018. (SunStar Philippines)