Kiko Pangilinan: Martial law extension must be justified in joint session

Friday, June 9th, 2017. Filed under: News Philippine News
Kiko Pangilinan

Kiko Pangilinan

MANILA, June 2 (Mabuhay) — Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan on Friday said an extension to the 60-day martial law period imposed over Mindanao must be justified before Congress in joint session.

“We will wait for the justification of any extension and Congress must convene in a joint session to deliberate on any extension,” Pangilinan said in a text message when sought for comment on President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement that Congress “must understand” if he would need “more time.”

Martial law was declared in Mindanao on May 23 following the attacks of the ISIS-inspired Maute group in MarawiCity.

“For as long as the military will say hindi pa talaga kaya and it’s beyond 60 days, Congress must understand that we need more time. There’s Jolo, that is also bursting and on top of that I have three fronts,” Duterte said on Thursday.

Pangilinan and the rest of the Senate minority bloc earlier urged Congress to convene in joint session to deliberate on the martial law declaration. Their resolution was outvoted, 12-9.

Article VII, Section 18 of the 1987 Constitution states that Congress may revoke the proclamation of marital law “voting jointly, by a vote of at least a majority of all its members in regular or special session.”

It also states that “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.”

In a separate text message, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said he was undecided whether he would support the possible extension of martial law.

“Very difficult to say until the request for extension is submitted to Congress,” Gatchalian said.

“Everyday, the situation on the ground changes. We have to analyze the reasons for extension when the time comes,” he added.

The same was the sentiment of Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, saying: “It depends (if I will support). Let’s cross the bridge when we get there.” (MNS)

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