Joint session needed to extend Martial Law- Lobregat PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 12 July 2017 16:07

By DEXTER YAP

Amidst the present talks of the possible extension of the imposition of martial law in Mindanao, Congressman Celso Lobregat said that the President has to abide by the provisions of the Philippine constitution if he wishes to extend the implementation of such declaration here in Mindanao region.

In an interview with RMN Zamboanga,Lobregat said that if there is any extension, the president has to request it in congress and congress convenes with the senate in a joint session and vote for its approval.

“As of now we have the numbers in congress, it will be easy for the majority to support any request of President Duterte to extend martial law in Mindanao either for 60, 90 days or even a year, depending on his justification,” Lobregat said.

The situation would depend on the wisdom of the president if he wishes to ask for months or years for the extension he wishes until the local terrorists movement has been neutralized and their activities and cohorts are suppressed.

“Pwede lang man extend con el martial law, depende na pidimiento del presidente si cuanto meses le querre, el importante fuede neutraliza con el mga mal-elementos not only in Marawi but also in nearby provinces of Mindanao,” Lobregat said.

But the solon said that it will be another story if the president would request the imposition to be spread out in the entire country.

“Again there can be a debate if there will be a new declaration, like imposing it or spread it in the entire country, that’s another story,” Lobregat said.

He said that with all eventualities and the way the armed forces handles the present crisis situation in Marawi, there would be a possible extension as President Duterte wished for it and it will not be a problem in congress because they have the numbers.

Looking at its effect within the period of 51 days now since martial rule in Mindanao has been imposed by the president, there are a lot of positive feedbacks and positive outlook in the downgrading of criminalities and rebellion in the entire Mindanao region which is more favorable for the national government as well.

“I will be fully supporting the move of the president to extend martial law in Mindanao if it will be for the common good,” Lobregat said.

The specific provision pertaining to martial law in the 1987 constitution is found in Article 7, Section 18 of the Philippine Constitution which states that “In case of invasion or rebellion, when the public safety requires it, he may, for a period not exceeding sixty days, suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or place the Philippines or any part thereof under martial law.”

Within forty-eight hours from the proclamation of martial law or the suspension of the privilege of writ of habeas corpus, the President shall submit a report in person or in writing to the Congress. The Congress, voting jointly, by a vote of at least a majority of all its members in a regular or special session, may revoke such proclamation or suspension, which revocation shall not be set aside by the president.

Upon the initiative of the President, the Congress may in the same manner, extend such proclamation or suspension for a period to be determined by the Congress, if the invasion or rebellion shall persist and public safety requires it.

President Rodrigo Duterte issued Proclamation No.216 proclaiming martial law and suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in the entire Mindanao on May 23,2017. – Dexter Yap