Panelo, nevertheless, pointed out that lifting martial law only in certain areas of the region might have an unfavorable implication on the security of entire Mindanao, which has been placed under martial rule
since two years ago.
Dinoh Dolina said the decision of whether to place Negros Oriental under martial rule
"is a political decision" and the state forces are just the implementor of the rules.
It surely will create some kind of stigma that will stick in the minds of local executives in other cities and provinces where martial rule
would remain in force.
It was signed as the nation marked the 39th anniversary of Marcos s imposition of martial rule
, when he shut down Congress, arrested thousands of opposition figures, journalists and critics, and ruled by decree.
He also said the proclamation is continually being assessed so they could recommend to the President to lift martial rule
Last February, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of extending martial rule
in Mindanao until end of 2019 in a vote of 9-4.
Yet with Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte baring plans to formally write the Office of the President to exempt the cities of Davao and Samal from martial rule
, there is hope that the abnormal situation in Mindanao can end sooner rather than later.
In a joint session, the Senate voted 12-5, with one abstention, while the House of Representatives voted 223-23 in favour of prolonging martial rule
in the southern region of Mindanao until December 31, 2019 as requested by President Rodrigo Duterte.
Drilon stressed based on the 1987 Constitution and the Supreme Court ruling upholding the President's May 2017 martial law declaration, the imposition or extension of martial rule
requires the "actual existence of rebellion or uprising for the purpose of removing a territory from the nation." Drilon said there was nothing in Duterte's letter-request to Congress and in the briefings given by military and police officials showing the existence of actual rebellion or uprising in Mindanao.
The southern region of Mindanao has been under martial rule
since May 2017 after Islamic State-allied militants laid siege on the southern city of Marawi, triggering a five-month battle that left more than 1,200 people dead.
Drilon wondered why the NPA is now being mentioned to justify prolonging martial rule