17 senators express support for Duterte’s martial law
Voting 17-5, the Senate adopted Tuesday night an amended resolution expressing the sense of the Senate not to revoke President Duterte’s martial law declaration in Mindanao at this time.
The 17 senators who voted for the amended resolution comprised the entire majority bloc while the five senators were from the minority.
Senate resolution no. 388 was amended on the floor and its amendments were introduced by Sen. Francis Escudero who along with Sen. Grace Poe did not sign it earlier. Escudero and Poe, who are members of the majority bloc, had said the Constitution did not require for Congress to affirm the martial law proclamation.
This was why the amended resolution ditched its earlier title that expressed the sense of the Senate, “supporting Proclamation no. 216 dated May 23, 2017, entitled ‘Declaring a state of martial law and suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in the whole of Mindanao’ and finding no cause to revoke the same.”
The new title of the measure simply read as the resolution “expressing the sense of the Senate not to revoke, at this time, Proclamation 216, series of 2017, entitled, ‘Declaring a state of martial law and suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in the whole of Mindanao.”
The resolution was changed to include the fact that senators were given a security briefing last Monday by defense and security officials on the “factual circumstances surrounding the proclamation as well as the updates in Mindanao.
It also said senators were convinced that the President’s proclamation was because “actual rebellion exists and public safety requires it.”
The resolution also made it clear that the proclamation did not suspend the operation of the Constitution “which among others, guarantee the respect for human rights and guard against any abuse or violation.”
“Now, therefore, be it resolved, as it is hereby resolved, to express the sense of the Senate that there is no compelling reason to revoke Proclamation no. 216 series of 2017, at this time,” the amended resolution said.
Explaining the minority bloc’s vote against the resolution, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said the resolution did not include a call for the holding of a joint session of Congress to tackle the martial law proclamation which was what they wanted and which they called for in their own resolution, Senate resolution no. 390.
“We are however support and laud the efforts of the men and women of our armed forces to suppress lawlessness in Marawi City,” Drilon said.
Minority Sen. Francis Pangilinan underscored the need for a joint session given “a matter so grave, extraordinary powers so serious.”
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