UPDATE 3: Congress votes to extend
martial law in Mindanao unitl Dec. 31, 2017

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CONGRESS has overwhelmingly voted to extend martial law and suspend the writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao until December 31, 2017.

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The combined total of the votes is 261-18, with 245 members of the House of Representatives and 16 senators saying “yes” as opposed to 14 and 4 “no” during the special joint session on Saturday at the Batasang Pambansa.

The senators allied with President Rodrigo Duterte supported his proposal to extend martial law in the southern Philippines.

They were Senate President Aquilino Pimentel 3rd, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto 3rd, as well as Senators Juan Edgardo Angara, Joseph Victor Ejercito, Francis Escudero, Richard Gordon, Gregorio Honasan 2nd, Panfilo Lacson, Loren Legarda, Manuel Pacquiao, Francis Pangilinan, Grace Poe, Joel Villanueva, Cynthia Villar, and Juan Miguel Zubiri.

The opposition group in the Senate, which rejected the President’s appeal, were Minority Leader Franklin Drilon and Senators Paolo Benigno Aquino 3rd, Risa Hontiveros, and Francis Pangilinan.

Duterte sought for an extended martial law and the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus (allowing warrantless arrest) in Mindanao to suppress a supposedly continuing rebellion, led by the combined forces of Maute group, Abu Sayyaf,  Ansarul Khilafah Philippines and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).

The majority number required for the approval of martial law is 158.

Under the Constitution, the President can declare martial law for an initial period of 60 days and ask for its extension in case of rebellion, invasion or when public safety requires it.

 

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