Solon: Quell rebellion by ending root cause, not by extending martial law

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ACT Teachers Party-list Representative Antonio Tinio

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 13) — A lawmaker argued the solution to the rebellion in Mindanao is not an extension of martial law, but ending its root cause.

ACT Teachers Party-list Representative Antonio Tinio, during the interpellation for joint session for martial law extension on Wednesday, said the government must address the root cause of rebellion instead of asking for an extension of martial law for the second time.

"Hindi martial law ang makatatapos sa rebelyon sa Pilipinas, ang makatatapos po rito ay ang pagtugon sa mga ugat. Hindi ito makukuha ng martial law," he said.

[Translation: Martial law is not the solution to the rebellion in the Philippines. Solving rebellion's root cause will end it.]

He added, "Ang ugat ay kahirapan, ang kawalan ng lupa ng mga magsasaka, ang pang-aapi sa mga Moro, sa mga Lumad, kawalan ng trabaho, ang malaking agwat sa mayaman at mahirap. Iyon ang tatapos sa rebelyon."

[Translation: The root of rebellion is poverty, lack of land for farmers, the oppression of the Moros and Lumads, unemployment, the gap between the rich and poor. Solving these will end rebellion.]

Duterte on December 8 asked Congress to approve the extension of martial law in Mindanao until December 31, 2018.  He said this was necessary to quell the "intensified" rebellion of the New People's Army, and attacks by foreign and local terrorist groups. President Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao on May 23, 2017 at the start of the Marawi attacks. Last July 22, Congress overwhelmingly voted to extend martial law in the south until the end of this year.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Wednesday said despite the end of the Marawi siege in October, rebellion has not stopped; it has only shifted to other regions of Mindanao.

Related: Gov't: Martial law in Mindanao needed due to 'continuing actual rebellion'

Tinio, along with other lawmakers from the minority, questioned the duration of the martial law extension request.

"Walang batayan ang kasalukuyang hiling ng presidente para sa one-year extension ng martial law... Argumento ito para sa walang katapusang martial law," he said.

[Translation: There is no basis for the president's request for one-year extension of martial law... This could be the basis for a never-ending martial law.]