MANILA – The two houses of Congress separately passed resolutions expressing support to President Rodrigo Duterte’s Proclamation No. 216 that imposed Martial Law in Mindanao for 60 days following a siege by local terrorists of Marawi City last week.
Fifteen out of the 23 senators signed Resolution No. 388 that said the declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao is “satisfactory, constitutional and in accordance with the law.” The 15 senators were Senate President Koko Pimentel, Senators Vicente Sotto III, Ralph Recto, Sonny Angara, Nancy Binay, Jose Victor Ejercito, Sherwin Gatchalian, Richard Gordon, Gringo Honasan, Panfilo Lacson, Loren Legarda, Manny Pacquiao, Joel Villanueva, Cynthia Villar, and Juan Miguel Zubiri.
Senators Grace Poe, Francis Escudero and minority bloc senators Francis Pangilinan, Franklin Drilon, Paolo Benigno Aquino IV, Leila De Lima, Risa Hontiveros, and Antonio Trillanes IV did not sign the resolution. The minority bloc had pushed for a joint session of Congress to ratify or revoke the Martial Law declaration as required by the 1987 Constitution.
Escudero explained that he did not sign the resolution because the Constitution does not require it, a sentiment shared by Poe.
Malacañang, through presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella, thanked the 15 senators for “expressing support to the President’s declaration of martial law in Mindanao”, adding “the President has acted swiftly and decisively to suppress the ongoing rebellion.”
At the House of Representatives, the legislature constituted itself into a Committee of the Whole to act on Duterte’s report on Martial Law in Mindanao.
Upon a motion by House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas, the House overwhemingly passed last night a resolution supporting the declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao after a six-hour closed-door briefing by national security officials.
Like the Senate, the House opted not to have a joint session of Congress to tackle the Martial Law declaration.
Members of the Maute Group, which has links to the Islamic State, attacked Marawi City on May 23. The terrorists burned down a school, church and the city jail and took a priest, teachers and 200 residents as hostages.
Abducted Marawi City parish priest Teresito Suganob earlier appealed to Duterte to stop the ongoing military operations against the terrorists so he and the other hostages won’t be killed by the captors.
Almost a hundred people, including civilians, have died in the clashes between the military and terrorists. GAC/Expat Media
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