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Senate briefing on ML set

By: Mario Casayuran

Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III said yesterday he would firm up his opinion on the issue of whether or not he would favor a proposed extension of President Duterte’s 60-day martial law declaration only after he has read the President’s report on how he dealt with the martial law powers given him by Congress to quell the rebellion in Marawi city.

Aside from the report to be made by Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, martial law administrator, Pimentel said his opinion would also be guided by his impressions on the briefing by the military establishment on the siege in Marawi city at a date not yet scheduled.

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Eduardo Ano, martial law implementator; and National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. will assist Lorenzana in briefing senators at the Senate. The briefing date is still be worked out.

Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) officials led by DILG officer-in-charge Catalino Cuy also briefed Senate officials led by Pimentel and Senate Majority Leader Vicente C. Sotto III on the peace and order situation in Marawi. The briefing was held at Pimentel’s Senate office.

The DILG briefing also touched on the peace and order situation in the country, particularly unsolved crimes.

The other senators were Gringo Honasan, Sherwin Gatchalian and Joseph Victor Ejercito.

‘’My position (on any extension) on martial law must be requested by the President. (Such an extension) must come from him. On House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, if there is a request he is open up to that time (five years or up to the 2022 end of President Duterte’s tenure). He was just telegraphing (his opinion),’’ Pimentel said.