The House of Representatives will convene as a Committee of the Whole on Wednesday (May 31) to talk about President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of martial law in Mindanao amid requires the chamber to meet with the Senate for a joint session.

Majority Floor Leader Rodolfo Fariñas, moved for the convening of the panel on Monday (May 29) after assembly with the Rules committee, which he chairs.

His transfer was seconded by majority of lawmakers in a viva voce vote on the plenary. ACT Teachers party-list Rep. Antonio Tinio and Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman objected, saying a joint session ought to be convened as an alternative.

Fariñas stated convening the House as a Committee of the Whole will enable lawmakers to maintain an govt briefing with heads of involved companies relating to Proclamation 216 issued by Duterte putting the complete Mindanao group of islands beneath martial law.

He famous that the Senate already had its personal briefing with protection and safety officers in an govt session.

“The Senate already took up this measure and they met in executive session. Why in executive session? Bcause we will be listening to the commanders on the ground. They will be briefing us where the enemies are what are their courses of action what are their kinds of action we cannot announce to the public. That’s why initially, we will have a committee of the whole so that everyone will hear,” Fariñas stated.

While the House chief stated the Committee of the Whole’s assembly is not going to be held behind closed doorways for now, they may have to “exclude everybody” when the info shared by the invited authorities officers turns into delicate.

Among the officers invited to temporary the panel are: Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Health Secretary Paulyn Rosell Ubial and Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez.