MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte will call the Congress to a special session on Saturday, 9 a.m. to “consider” the extension of Martial Law in Mindanao.
House of Representatives Majority Floor Leader Rodolfo Fariñas has said his chamber and the Senate will hold a joint session “as required by the Constitution… to consider the initiative of the President to extend Martial Law.”
On Monday night Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas forwarded to reporters this message to all the House members for a special session: “The President will call the Congress to a Special Session on Saturday, July 22, 2017, at 9am, to consider the extension of Martial Law. See you, please! Thank you!!” Fariñas said in his advisory.
The 60-day martial law declared on May 23 is set to expire on July 22.
Earlier on Monday, Deputy Speaker Fredenil Castro said lawmakers would likely support an extension of martial law if “the basis for the proclamation is still there, the purpose of declaring Martial Law has not been accomplished.”
Fariñas did not say how long President Rodrigo Duterte would want to extend martial law or if it would continue to cover the entirety of Mindanao.
Earlier on Monday, Deputy Speaker Fredenil Castro said lawmakers would likely support an extension of martial law if “the basis for the proclamation is still there, the purpose of declaring martial law has not been accomplished.”
Fellow Deputy Speaker Gwendolyn Garcia said “the House has shown its full support and confidence in the wisdom of our commander-in-chief.”
However, Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat Jr. of the opposition Magnificent Seven bloc said the special session should be held earlier to better assess the basis of an extension.
“There should be time for us to be apprised by the (Armed Forces of the Philippines) or Malacañang of the situation in Marawi and the entire island of Mindanao before we even consider an extension,” Baguilat said.
He added that there should be enough discussion and Martial Law should not be “forcibly passed on the same day.”
“If AFP proves martial law helped and they just could not fully control the situation, I might even agree to it,” Baguilat said.
Meanwhile, Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao of the militant Makabayan bloc said his group “will consistently register our opposition.”