The Constitution has no restrict on what number of instances a president can proclaim martial law to handle the Marawi disaster, in accordance to Sen. Richard Gordon.
That is that if the present Proclamation No. 216 which positioned your complete Mindanao area below martial law for 60 days had lapsed.
“There’s nothing to extend once it lapses,” Gordon stated, echoing the assertions made by Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo.
Panelo, in a tv interview, stated that “if Congress does not extend on the 60th day upon the initiative of the President, there can be no extension (but) another proclamation is necessary.”
Gordon, nonetheless, expressed doubts whether or not Duterte would go for a new declaration as he can merely write a letter to Congress to ask for an extension.
“But everybody will expect a report on what has happened because of martial law and what is the factual situation occurring at the time with the state of the nation,” he stated.
“He only has to do is send a letter and say that ‘I’m extending it, under the provision Article , Section 18’ and if Congress will extend the same, for the period to be determined by Congress. In other words it can be 60 days, 90 days, 30 or 10 days,” he stated.
“But I think what he’ll do is he will extend it. Whether he extends it also allowed in the Constitution. But Congress has to convene and make a determination and it can be extended for a period to be determined by us. If he is going to extend it, he should send us a communication that he’s extending it and that we can now approve that for a period to be determined by us,” he added.
The President may decide to take the chance throughout his State of the Nation Address (SONA) by reporting to Congress the scenario in Marawi and ask the 2 Houses to prolong the imposition of martial law as a result of the rise up nonetheless persists and public security requires it.
“(But) I don’t think there will be a new declaration. Why will he issue a new declaration? A new declaration will only persist for 60 days. If it is an extension he is even better off, if he wants to extend it he can ask Congress and Congress may even decide for more than another 60 or even 90 days,” he stated.