Congress has accepted President Rodrigo Duterte’s request to increase martial law in Mindanao until December 31, 2017.
Voting 261-18, the Senate and House of Representatives in a particular joint session Saturday (June 22) agreed to increase the validity of Proclamation No. 216 declaring martial law in Mindanao and suspending the writ of habeas corpus within the island group.
Sixteen of 20 senators current through the session voted within the favor of extending martial law whereas 4 have been in opposition to it.
Meanwhile, 245 House members agreed to Duterte’s request whereas 14 opposed it.
Those who opposed its extension within the Senate have been Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, and Senators Risa Hontiveros, Francis Pangilinan and Bam Aquino.
Senators Antonio Trillanes IV, Nancy Binay and Leila de Lima have been absent through the session.
The voting was performed after 28 lawmakers took the podium to interpellate Cabinet officers on issues associated to the implementation of martial law and its extension.
Among the officers from the chief department who confronted lawmakers have been Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, and Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Eduardo Año.
The Senate and House held a joint session to debate Duterte’s request for an extension of martial law forward of its expiration on 10 p.m. at this time.
Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao on May 23 because of the combating between authorities forces and the Maute group in Marawi City.
The President and authorities officers have defended the declaration by saying that there’s a insurrection that must be quelled in Mindanao.
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