Press Release
July 23, 2017


Not wanting the Philippines to go the way of Syria and Iraq, Senator Richard J. Gordon on Saturday voted in favor of extending martial law imposed in Mindanao following the siege in Marawi City.

Explaining his yes vote during the Special Joint Session held at the House of Representatives, Gordon pointed out that the rebellion is A malady that needs to be contained before it could spread out to other parts of the country.

"Nobody wants martial law, that's the nature of man. Nobody wants strong leadership that can affect our rights. But this was not something that we wanted, it was placed upon us. This is about containment - we have to contain the malady. We don't want it to spread to any other part of the country... So Mr. President, I vote yes (on the basis that we need to act quickly and decisively). God bless the Philippines!" the senator said.

"We don't want to be a Syria, we don't want to be an Iraq. (The current fighting in those countries) started with little things, (then metastasized like cancer) to create chaos, destruction and death, to destroy nations... I have to remind everyone that we vote on a very vital issue today that (could alter the course of our sovereign state)," he added.

Gordon pointed out that while Congress may agree to extend the imposition of martial rule for another five months, the Senate and the House of Representatives can ask, after sixty days, if the conditions justifying extension still prevail. If not, then support for the extension of martial law can be withdrawn even before the expiry of the five-month extension He added President Rodrigo Duterte could also lift martial law before the extension expires if there is no more justification for the continued imposition.

Duterte placed all of Mindanao under martial law on May 23, 2017 after members of the Maute Group, an alleged supporter of the ISIS international terrorist group, attacked Marawi City.

With 261 affirmative votes from both houses, Congress overwhelmingly approved Duterte's request to extend martial law in Mindanao by five more months or until December 31, 2017. The vote came hours before Duterte's 60-day martial law proclamation lapsed on Saturday night.

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