Press Release
May 30, 2017

Senate adopts resolution affirming declaration
of martial law in Mindanao

The Senate adopted today a resolution expressing the sense of the Senate affirming the proclamation of martial law in Mindanao and the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus in the country's southern region.

Introduced by Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III, Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto, Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, and Senators Chiz Escudero, Juan Edgardo Angara, Nancy Binay, Joseph Victor Ejercito, Sherwin Gatchalian, Richard Gordon, Gregorio Honasan II, Panfilo Lacson, Loren Legarda, Emmanuel Pacquiao, Joel Villanueva, Cynthia Villar and Juan Miguel Zubiri, Senate Resolution No. 388 was adopted with 17 affirmative votes, five negative votes and no abstention.

Voting against the resolution were Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, and Senators Paolo Benigno Aquino IV, Francis Pangilinan, Risa Hontiveros and Antonio Trillanes IV.

The Senate however voted down proposed Senate Resolution No. 390 filed by the minority senators, which called for Congress to convene in joint session and deliberate on the proclamation of martial law and suspension of the writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao, with 12 senators voting against the resolution, and nine senators voting in favor of it.

"It is incumbent upon both the Senate and the House of Representatives to conduct a joint session for the purpose of determining the constitutional and factual validity of the proclamation, of preventing abuse in its implementation, and ensuring the safety of the people of Marawi and the whole Mindanao," proposed Senate Resolution No. 390 said.

Voting against the resolution were Pimentel, Sotto, Ejercito, Legarda, Lacson, Pacquiao, Villar, Zubiri, Gordon, Angara, Binay and Honasan while those in favor were Recto, Drilon, Aquino, Escudero, Gatchalian, Hontiveros, Pangilinan, Trillanes and Senator Grace Poe.

The resolutions came a week after President Rodrigo Duterte issued Proclamation No. 216, series of 2017, which declared a state of martial law and suspended the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus "in the whole of Mindanao."

According to Resolution 388, the Senate at this time "agrees that there is no compelling reason to revoke Proclamation No. 216 series of 2017."

"On the basis of information received by the senators, the Senate is convinced that President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law and suspended the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in the whole of Mindanao because actual rebellion exists and that public safety requires it," the resolution said.

The Article VII, Section 18 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution provides that "in case of invasion or rebellion, when the public safety requires it, he (President) may, for a period not exceeding 60 days, suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or place the Philippines or any part thereof under martial law."

The resolution noted that the proclamation "did not suspend the operation of the Constitution, which among others, guaranteed respect for human rights and guards against any abuse or violation thereof."

The resolution said that last May 25, the president submitted to the Senate his report on the actual and legal basis of the proclamation, "pursuant to his duty under the Constitution, on May 25, 2017, and within 48 hours after the issuance of the proclamation."

It added that the senators had been briefed by the Department of National Defense (DND), the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and by the National Security Council (NSC) on the "factual circumstances surrounding the Proclamation as well as the updates on the situation in Mindanao."

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