President Duterte has called for a special joint session of Congress on Saturday to consider the extension of martial law in Mindanao.
Martial law in Mindanao lapses on Saturday–the 60thday after it was declared.
House Majority Leader Rodolfo Farinas made the announcement in a viber message to congressional reporters. “NOTICE TO ALL MEMBERS: The President will call the Congress to a Special Session on Saturday, Jul 22, 2017, at 9am, to consider the extension of Martial Law. See you, please! Thank you!!”
asked if this will be a joint session, Farinas said, “Of course, it will be a Joint Session as required by the Constitution for the Congress to consider the initiative of the President to extend Martial Law.”
Lawmakers were in Malacanang earlier tonight to receive the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law from the executive.
asked for the length of the extension, Farinas said, “He mentioned the period but let’s wait for his formal letter to Congress. In fact, he only informed us (SP Pimentel, Speaker BA, Sen. Sotto, ES Medialdea, Sec. Cayetano and I) at his table about his request for extension.”
Earlier today, the PNP already revealed that it will seek the extension of martial law, but will leave the duration to Congress.
Martial law critics slammed the decision.
Makabayan bloc Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao said in a statement, “Anakpawis will consistently register our opposition if ever the pres.requests congress for the extension of ML..”
Opposition lawmaker, Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat for his part wanted more debate on the matter and that it be limited to Marawi or Lanao. Baguilat said, “Session should be earlier. There should be time for us to be apprised by the AFP or Malacanang of the situation in Marawi n the entire island of Mindanao before we even consider an extension. Sana magkaroon ng sapat na talakayan. At hindi yung ipipilit na ipasa agad sa araw na iyon. Kung mapatunayan ng AFP na nakatulong ang MArtial Law ngunit di pa nila control situation at kailangan ng maikling extension, then Baka pumayag pa ako. Pero sa Marawi o Lanao lang sana.”
Asked how long the extension should be, Baguilat said, “As I understand, it cannot be more than 60 days. It can’t be indefinite. But that’s why kinakailangan sana ng paguulat ng AFP at talakayan para alamin kung ano sana ang recommendations nila.”