By Butch Fernandez & Jovee Marie N. dela Cruz, December 11 2018; Business Mirror


Image Credit to Ibon.org

THE House of Representatives on Monday adopted House Concurrent Resolution 24 providing that Both Houses of Congress Convene in Joint Session to deliberate on the request of President Duterte to further extend the proclamation of Martial Law and suspension of the privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus until December 31, 2019 or for such other period of time as Congress may determine.

This, as Senate President Vicente Sotto III signalled Monday the senators’ readiness to grant Duterte’s request to extend the imposition of martial law in Mindanao.

“They (Duterte administration security officials) were able to present compelling reason (for the martial law extension),” Sotto III told reporters after a closed-door briefing to update senators on the Mindanao security situation, conducted by military officers and Duterte administration security officials.

The Senate President added they expect a “legal opinion” to be submitted by the Duterte administration’s security officials justifying the Palace request for an extended martial law imposition when the two chambers of Congress convene a joint session Wednesday to deliberate and act on President Duterte’s request for an extension of martial law in Mindanao.

“Personally, I was convinced that there is a real active rebellion in Miindanao,” Sotto III said, even as he asked for the legal opinion to be submitted to the Senate before Congress adjourns late this week.

Asked about the scenario presented to the senators by security officials, the Senate leader replied: “Mabigat [It’s tough].”

“We really need to stop the rebellion there,” Sotto added but opted not to elaborate, citing the prevailing security situation in Mindanao.

Duterte first declared martial law on May 23, 2017 after homegrown terrorists laid siege to Marawi City. He then asked for extensions of such martial law twice, citing the continuing threat from terrorists.