MANILA - Detained Senator Leila de Lima called the suggestion of a Tausug party-list lawmaker to expand martial law nationwide during the Congress' special joint session "a sick joke."
"I find very disturbing, to say the least, the suggestion during yesterday's joint session from a lady Party List member that martial law be declared nationwide," she said in a statement on Sunday.
De Lima said the call of Kusug Tausug Party-list Rep. Shernee Abubakar Tan a "shameless way to feather one's own interest."
"Was it meant to be a joke? Meant to earn cheap laughter from those inclined to laugh at the situation? If so, what an offensively bad and sick joke it was," she said.
De Lima added that the suggestion shows Tan's lack of empathy for the likes of Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr. and Etta Rosales, who suffered human rights abuses under the martial law of the Marcos regime.
The senator warned the lawmaker against taking lightly an extreme measure like martial law, which she said can be used as a shortcut to a government official's own personal "endgame."
"It is not meant to be taken as a first resort, or as shortcut to pave the way for federalism or any other endgames politicos and vested interests may have," she said
"Don't play with the power of declaring and extending Martial Law. It is a fire that will burn us all if recklessly handled by those supposedly elected to protect us from abuse," she added.