REMINDER

Even before the Executve has made its presentation, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez already rallied his colleagues to back the President’s declaration of martial law.   “Colleagues, let us extend to the President the aid which he needs. Let us also do our part and legislate lasting solutions to the problems we face. We owe this to the people of Marawi City. We owe this to the people of Mindanao. We owe this to the people of the Philippines.”

Alvarez reminded his colleagues that how they  decide today will determine the trajectory of our response to the threats posed by terror groups. “My fellow colleagues, let us remember that how we decide today will determine the trajectory of our response to the grave threats posed by terror groups – the Mautes included – that has rampaged the peaceful City of Marawi and the people of Mindanao.”

Alvarez told his colleagues not to be stuck in the martial law atrocities of the past. “Will our collective response extend a helping hand to our Commander-in-Chief and, consequently, empower him to decisively destroy the delusional terror dreams of these extremist groups? Or will our response be to view the occasion from ivory towers and, while disconnected from the realities on the ground, choose to chain the hands of the President at a time when he needs our full support the most?”

Alvarez also assured the public that the Congress will watch over the implementation of martual law and provide check and balance when needed. “While we understand the reservations of some with Martial Law, let us view the situation not exclusively from the perspective of the past. Our present Constitution provides sufficient safeguards to prevent abuses by agents of the State. Moreover, we give the public our assurance that we are keeping a watchful eye upon the unfolding of events and will step in as a counter-balance should and when the need arises.”

at the opening of the House Committee of the Whole,  Alvarez stressed that they convened today to discuss an urgen matter. Alvarez added that given what has happened, a strategic and decisive response is necessary. “We have convened here today to discuss an urgent matter the resolution of which has lasting implications to the security of our nation and the well-being of our people. Given what has happened, a strategic and decisive response is necessary so that we may rise up to the perilous challenges of the occasion at hand.”

Alvarez warned that these threats can easily spill over and engulf the rest of the nation in flames. “We have to do this, not only because the dangers we face have devastated the lives of thousands. We have to do this, not only because these threats can easily spill over and engulf the rest of the nation in flames. We have to do this, because it is the right thing to do.”

Alvarez also reminded  the executive branch that this cannot be solved by miltary might alone. “Our support for the declaration of Martial Law, however, should not be interpreted in a way that views the problem as one that can be settled purely through military might. The situation is far more complex. Besides military action, we have to address the historical, social, economic, and political roots of the problem. After all, the most potent weapon against terrorism, insurgencies, and rebellion is nation building.”

The Commmittee convened at 9am, Presided by House Majority Leader Rodolfo Farinas and Senior Deputy Majority Leader as the acting majority leader. Farinas laid the ground rules early in the briefing: resource spokspersons to finish briefings first before questions. Each member gets 5 minutes to pose questions. 2nd round maybe held if necessary Adjournment at 3pm and Lunch at 12-1pm. Farinas also admonished his colleagues not to be noisy and to avoid standing and walking around during the proceedings.

The executive branch officials were placed under oath prior to their briefings.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea opened the briefings for the executive. “allow us to express our appreciation for giving us the opprotunity to share  with this honorable body the facts and circumstances leading to the president’s..issuance of proclamation number 216 dated may 2017. prior to his assumption of office of president duterte, mindanao has had a long and complex history  of lawless violence prepetrated by private armies,  local warlords, criminal syndicates, terrorist groups and religious extremists.”

President Duterte has designated Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana as martial law administrator and military  chief of staff Eduardo Ano as implementor of martial law.

This was contained in General Order #1 issued by President Duterte.

The GO mandates them to undertake all measures to suppress all acts of rebellion. However it does not suspend the constitution. despite the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, individuals have to be charged within 3 days.