Philippines: Senate backs martial law; no joint session – 31 May 2017

  • The Senate approved a resolution voicing support for President Duterte’s declaration of martial law in Mindanao on 30 May 17, and later junked a resolution by the minority bloc calling for a joint session of Congress to deliberate on Proclamation 216.
  • Fifteen senators signed Senate Resolution 388 filed on 22 May 17. In approving the resolution, the senators said violence perpetrated by the Maute group was part of a rebellion meant to dismember Mindanao, justifying martial law. Voting 17-5, the senators approved Resolution 388 “not to revoke the declaration at this time.”
  • Later in the day, the Senate, voting 12-9, rejected the proposal to conduct a joint congressional session to deliberate on Duterte’s declaration of martial law. The minority bloc had sponsored Resolution 390 for the joint session.
  • At the House of Representatives, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said on 30 May 17 he is open to extending martial law in Mindanao “if necessary and if President Duterte will ask for it.”
  • He conceded though that it is too early to talk about extension since martial law has been in force for only one week. He added the House would agree to a combined session to extend martial law but not to revoke it.

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