Press Release
December 12, 2017


On the Joint Session for the proposed extension of Martial Law

Senate President Koko Pimentel: I made it very clear that whatever Congress decides tomorrow can be questioned before the Supreme Court. Walang dispute dun. Majority and minority senators do not dispute that.

Q: Pero sir are you convinced para dun sa basis na binigay na one year Martial Law extension ng mga security officials?

SPKP: Yes.

Q: Ano yung basis nila?

SPKP: There is rebellion on the ground and then public safety requires it. In their assessment, kasi ito medyo subjective yan, they need a year to address the root causes of rebellion. Pero walang sure doon. Walang makakapsgsabi na eksakto yung one year o kulang yung one year. But yung period kasi is trial and error.

Q: Sir, justified for you yung hinihingi nila?

SPKP: There is rebellion in Mindanao. Ang manifestation niya was the siege in Marawi but the rebels are still there. Andun pa yung Daiwa Islamia or yung Daesh affiliate. May Maute group pa. Meron pang isang letter "M" yung start ng grupo. May ASG pa. These are the rebel forces still operating in Mindanao.

Q: Kahit walang actual na labanan or clash?

SPKP: Hindi everyday pero kayong nasa media, you report an attack on this. Hindi kailangan ng siege. The Revised Penal Code does not require that the rebellion is only through siege of a city. Nasanay lang siguro tayo because of the ISIS sa Middle East.

Q: Do you expect na mapapasa ito?

SPKP: In the House alone, pasado na po. Its just looking at the votes in the House. Although, hindi pa natin nakikita yung mga votes sa House, given the Speaker's backing of this initiative and si Speaker nga, I don't know if he's joking but he wants it five years. So, with that kind of impositioning ni Speaker and his support in the House, I believe po also na ano na ito. The Senate also, it will also prevail even if you deduct or subtract the senators, majority na rin yung magsasang-ayon. Yan ang aking prediction.

Q: Yung one year sir, would it be enough?

SPKP: Better one year than five years because of the mechanism na extendible. Because it's extendible, let's say sinabi nila na ay nagkulang pala kami sa one year, can we extend it to another year? Justify ulit. There is this mandatory period in time when you will have to justify their request for extension. Kung one goal lang na five years, eh pwede na tayong kalimutan ng Martial Law administrator or implementor na 'o, five years na ito'.

Q: Sir, subject for review siya during that duration?

SPKP: Of course. Nakita ko naman yung willingness of the military to conduct periodic briefing for senators about Martial Law.

Q: Alin yung hindi exactly sure?

SPKP: Yung within one year. Mabuti na rin siguro yun na we give them sufficient time na sila mismo ang nagdetermine na ma-quell na yung root causes of the rebellion or ma-quell yung actual rebellion.

Q: Pero sir may admission sila na di rin nila sigurado ma-a-address in one year

SPKP: Kasi who can look into the future nga na tapos na. I mean reasonable naman siguro. Kahit ako siguro humingi, I cannot be sure na tapos na ito in one year but that is a reasonable period of time for us to believe that we can already quell the rebellion. Kasama na dun yung Abu Sayyaf (ASG).

Q: Kung may maiwan?

SPKP: Okay lang. Pag hindi pumasa ang TRAIN, wala tayong... the new effectivity sana nun is January 1, 2018 but we will definitely have a new tax law. Yung effectivity lang. Kung hindi kaya ngayon, sira ang timetable, ang projections ng ating DOF and DBM.

Q: Sir, hindi kailangan ng siege? All the government need is a continuous threat?

SPKP: Not only threat and intelligence information na merong threat but there are really actual clashes eh, diba? There are actual clashes except that they are not concentrated in one city or in one province but ang observation nila they are concentrated at least in one area and that area is called Mindanao.

Q: Sir, on the part of the Senate majority yung pulso is okay sir?

SPKP: I have a feeling. Hindi naman kami nag straw vote eh. Hindi kami nag-straw vote dun kasi after the military briefing was the CHR briefing and the NEDA briefing. Pumunta na po sa bicam sa iba ibang mga trabaho ang mga senador, hindi na po kami nagkaron ng chance na magkaroon ng straw vote pa kami.

Q: But you don't see anything contentious dun sa mga ni-raise nilang grounds to extend all of which, legal?

SPKP: What I heard sa loob, some are questioning the wisdom. Ang nakikita ko na if they were president, they would not declare Martial Law pero judgement call yun eh. You are not the president. Ang president natin, gusto niya magdeclare ng Martial Law. Ang tanong lang dito, is it proper or legal or constitutional. Yun lang yun.

Q: May new information ba ang military or defense on the threat?

SPKP: Wala naming new information except that the groups are still there. The members are still there. The arms are still there. May bilang pa sila ng arms. And then marami pang unfinished business kasi merong list of persons to be arrested. Ang dami pang di arrested.

Q: Sir, pwede bang sabihin na nag strengthen yung threat?

SPKP: Hindi ko masabi kung nag-strengthen kasi hindi naman naming pinaassess kung nag-strengthen. Basta the threat is still there and then the clashes are still there. The skirmishes are still there. If I remember correctly, increased activity even of the NPA was also noticed in Mindanao.

Q: Sir, diba hindi kasama yung NPA dun sa una?

SPKP: Ang akin kasing position is, the Revised Penal Code, which defines rebellion, requires the armed public uprising. Hindi naman niya sinabi na it must be the same rebels. Basta for as long as there is rebellion, actual rebellion in Mindanao, then Martial Law is justified. The constitution does not require that the rebellion must be maintained by the same rebels.

Q: May concern na baka for now limited to Mindanao, susunod nationwide na?

SPKP: Saka na po natin problemahin yun kasi wala naman tayo dun, di ba?

On the bicam reports of the TRAIN and national budget

SPKP: Hopefully, ngayon na po. Nasa agenda na po. Matagal yung bicam ng TRAIN, hindi yung budget. Mas nahirapan kami sa TRAIN. Pinuntahan ko kahapon ang bicam ng TRAIN para ma-encourage na sila to finish. Yung budget, the usual differences in opinion, handling, mga ganun.

Q: Sir, may session ba kayo tomorrow?

SPKP: Oo. Depende how productive we are today. Ang usapan na namin, after the joint session tomorrow, no matter what time it ends, lets say reasonable time it ends is early afternoon, we will have to convene here kahit na it will be delayed beyond 3pm.

Q: Sir, tomorrow you will start at 9am?

SPKP: Tomorrow, 9 am joint session. Agenda we will direct it to the Majority Leader. Siya ang taga-determine ng agenda. Pero kung matapos maaga, ang joint session, balik kami rito for our session so that we can act on some other bills. Hindi pa tapos ang session, e. Sayang yung one day.

News Latest News Feed