Press Release
May 30, 2017

Sen. Bam: No shortcuts, call joint session

A senator called on his fellow lawmakers to avoid shortcuts and follow the Constitution by calling a joint session to tackle the declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao.

"Ang AFP, ayaw natin mag-shortcut, ang PNP ayaw nating mag-shortcut. Bakit tayo mag-so-short cut?" said Sen. Bam Aquino during the minority bloc's press conference discussing their resolution urging the Senate to call for a joint session.

"Hindi tayo puwedeng mag-shortcut. Iyong mga shortcut, ito ang nagdudulot ng masasamang bagay sa bansa natin," he added.

Under the Constitution, Sen. Bam also stressed that Congress is mandated to call a joint session, based on the precedent during former president Gloria Arroyo's declaration of Martial Law in Maguindanao in 2009.

"A joint session is needed so that people can hear for themselves what the security managers were able to brief to us," Sen. Bam said in an earlier television interview Tuesday.

The senator said a joint session will give security managers a chance to enlighten the public about the situation and address misinformation and fake news circulating online at the same time.

"The people are contradicting each other. Agencies are contradicting each other in terms of facts and in terms of what's really happening. We need to hear it straight from the security managers," Sen. Bam pointed out.

Sen. Bam said the security managers assured that normalcy in Marawi City will be restored in the next few days but it is crucial for the "people to hear that themselves".

During the briefing, Sen. Bam got the assurance from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) that it will uphold human rights while Mindanao is under Martial Law.

Despite the AFP's assurance, Sen. Bam underscored the need for vigilance against any abuse that might occur until normalcy returns to the area, which the AFP committed to achieve in the following days.

Once the government quells the threats in Marawi, Sen. Bam said the government must lift Martial Law immediately and focus on restoring normalcy and developing in the area.

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