12 senators OK third martial law extension in Mindanao
MANILA, Philippines — Twelve senators on Wednesday voted to extend martial law in Mindanao until December 31, 2019.
The 12 senators who affirmed the third extension of martial law in the region were Senate President Vicente Sotto III, and Senators Gringo Honasan, Panfilo Lacson, Juan Miguel Zubiri, Richard Gordon, Grace Poe, Cynthia Villar, Koko Pimentel, JV Ejercito, Sonny Angara, Win Gatchalian, and Manny Pacquiao.
On the other hand, five senators voted against further placing Mindanao under martial rule. These lawmakers were: Minority Floor Leader Senator Franklin Drilon, and Senators Bam Aquino, Rise Hontiveros, Francis Pangilinan, and Francis Escudero.
Senator Ralph Recto abstained from voting while Senators Loren Legarda, Antonio Trillanes IV, and Leila de Lima did not attend the joint session to tackle President Rodrigo Duterte’s request for extension of martial law in Mindanao.
Sotto said Legarda was sick while Trillanes is currently abroad and De Lima is still detained at Camp Crame, Quezon City due to drug-related charges.
Meanwhile, Senators Joel Villanueva and Nancy Binay attended the joint session but they “had to leave,” according to Sotto.
To decide on the request of the President, both chambers of Congress should vote jointly, which means 158 affirmative votes are needed to grant the extension.
On the part of the House of Representatives, 223 lawmakers voted for the extension while 23 voted against it. None of the present lawmakers abstained. /kga
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