Monday 21 January, 2019
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Cut and paste! Lagman claims 3rd martial extension used the same justifications for 2nd extension

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Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman claimed that “justifications” proffered by President Rodrigo Durtete for the third extension of martial law and the suspension of the writ of habeas corpusin Mindanao were a virtual rehash of the “reasons” he made for the second extension last year.

Lagman said the recycled presentation betrayed the absence of sufficient basis for the third extension.

The identical provisions cited by Lagman were:

(1) Both letters dated 08 December 2017 and 06 December 2018, respectively, were premised on the acknowledgment that remarkable or significant progress has been achieved “in putting the rebellion under control.”

(2) Security assessment justified the requested extensions in order to completely “put an end to the continuing rebellion” and prevent its “escalating to other parts of the country”.

(3) In both letters, the same terrorist groups are targeted: the DAESH-inspired Da’awatul Islamiyah Waliyatul Masriq (DIWM) or the Daulah Islamiyah (DI); Abu Sayyaf Group; and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and other terrorist groups collectively called the local terrorist groups (LTGs).

(4) In his letter dated 08 December 2017, the President alleged that the remnants of DAESH-inspired DIWM “continued efforts towards radicalization/recruitment”. Likewise, in his letter dated 06 December 2018, the President said: the DI forces continue to pursue their rebellion against the government “by furthering the conduct of their radicalization activities and continue to recruit new members.”

(5) The Communist Terrorist Group (CTG),“while the government was preoccupied with the challenges posed by” the local terrorist groups (LTGs), took advantage of the situation and intensified their “decades-long rebellion” and posed “serious security concerns”.

He said the alleged “rebellion” of the CTG cannot justify the extension of martial law because no less than the Duterte administration has branded the “50-year” rebellion of the communist insurgents a “dismal failure.”

“The mere mention of the word ‘rebellion’ in said letters in a generalized manner has no probative pedigree,” said Lagman who earlier mocked the President for citing a rebellion without a rebel.


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