TWO senators who voted for the extension of martial law in Mindanao said on Sunday that they were willing to support any move to revoke if there would be abuses on the part of authorities or if the situation in the south would normalize before yearend.
Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto 3rd said Congress has the power to end martial law earlier than December 31 if they would see the need for it but doubted whether President Rodrigo Duterte himself would allow martial law to continue if there would no longer be a need for it.
Sotto said Congress, through a resolution, could hold another joint session to revoke the declaration of martial law if there were abuses or if the situation in Mindanao has been stabilized.
Based on Section 18 Article 7 of the 1987 constitution “Congress, voting jointly, by a vote of at least a majority of all its members in regular or special session, may revoke such proclamation or suspension, which revocation shall not be set aside by the President.”
Sen. Grace Poe echoed Sotto but added that she would rather give soldiers tasked to carry out the declaration recognition for the service right now.
“Majority of our soldiers there are doing what it right because they know that our countrymen are watching them,” she added.
Poe said Congress could ask security officials for a regular briefing to update lawmakers on the status of the implementation of martial law.
Sotto and Poe were among the 16 senators who voted to extend martial law until December 31 during the special joint session of Congress on Saturday.
They were part of the 261 – 245 from the House – who expressed support for Duterte’s request. Eighteen others had rejected the request.