SENATE President Koko Pimentel will ask President Rodrigo Duterte over dinner on Monday whether or not he needs to lengthen martial law in Mindanao.
Pimentel, along with few colleagues in the Senate majority bloc, can have an opportunity to have a non-public time with the President on July 17 in Malacanang after the submission of the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC).
Pressed whether or not he’ll ask the President if he needs to request for an extension of martial law, Pimentel, on Tuesday, stated, “Oo. Pag-usapan na rin ‘yun. That’s the 55th day na rin yun eh,” he stated.
Pimentel, on Tuesday, stated there can be no particular agenda in their meeting with the President. “Walang fixed agenda. If we have a lot of time, we can talk about a lot of things.”
“I want to attend the BBL submission since andun na rin naman ako (i-mi meet ko na ang Presidente pagkatapos). 4 o’clock kasi ‘yung BBL. Kung libre ang Pangulo (i-meet naming siya). Sabi naman niya libre siya. We can have up to dinner or all nighter (to discuss several things),” he added.
Mr. Durterte issued Proclamation 216 on May 23 putting Mindanao underneath martial law to quell the insurrection of the Maute extremist group. Its validity ends on July 22, two days earlier than the President’s second State of the Nation Address (SONA).
Under Section 18, Article VII of the Constitution, it offers that, “Upon the initiative of the President, Congress may, in the same manner, extend such proclamation or suspension for a period to be determined by Congress, if the invasion or rebellion shall persist and public safety requires it.”