• Senate backs martial law, rejects joint session

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    THE Senate on Tuesday adopted a resolution supporting the declaration of martial law and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus.

    But the chamber rejected the resolution filed by the minority bloc asking congress to convene in joint session and deliberate on Proclamation 216.

    Voting 17-5, the chamber adopted Senate Resolution 388, which was sponsored by Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, who emphasized the need for the government to use all constitutional means to suppress lawlessness and eradicate terrorism, without disregarding the paramount safety of the civilian population.

    But before senators voted on the resolution, they adopted some amendments introduced by Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero including the insertion to the phrase “at this time” in the title of SR 388.

    Originally, the title read “Resolution expressing 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.”

    On the amended version of Escudero of SR 388 it now reads “Resolution expressing the sense of the senate not to revoke, at this time, proclamation 210, entitled ‘Declaring a state of martial law and suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in the whole of Mindanao.’”

    The resolution also stated that senators were convinced that President Rodrigo Duterte made the declaration because actual rebellion exists and that public safety requires it.

    The members of the minority bloc voted against the adoption of SR 388 but maintained that they are supporting the government troops and sympathize with the people of Marawi City.

    Meanwhile, the resolution asking congress to convene in joint session failed to get enough support.

    Only nine senators voted to in favor of the joint resolution — Senate president pro tempore Ralph Recto, Senate minority leader Franklin Drilon, and Senators Paolo Benigno Aquino 4th, Sherwn”Win” Gatchalian, Francis “Chiz” Escudero, Risa Hontiveros, Francis Pangilinan, Grace Poe, and Antonio Trillanes 4th.

    Senators who rejected the resolution were Senate President Aquilino Pimentel 3rd, and Senate majority leader Vicente Sotto 3rd, and Senators Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, Nancy Binay, Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito, Richard Gordon, Gregorio Honasan, Panfilo Lacson, Loren Legarda, Manny Pacquiao, Cynthia Villar and Juan Miguel Zubiri. Jefferson Antiporda

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