Malacañang has sent to Congress President Rodrigo Duterte’s official declaration of martial law in Mindanao.
The copy of Proclamation No. 216 was received by the office of House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez at 10:26 p.m., nearly 24 hours since the President announced the declaration from Russia, during an official visit.
Under the 1987 Constitution, the President has 48 hours to report to Congress, in person or in writing, about such proclamation.
In the document—dated May 23, Tuesday, and “done in the Russian Federation”—Duterte declared martial law “in the whole of Mindanao” for a period “not exceeding sixty days.”
He also suspended the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus there for the said period.
The President noted that a state of national emergency has been in place since September 2016, “on account of lawless violence” in the region, and pointed out “the series of violent acts committed by the Maute terrorist group.”
It then tagged as “crime of rebellion” the acts perpetrated by “the same Maute terrorist group” in Marawi City.
These included the takeover of a hospital, burning “certain government and private facilities,” and “flying the flag of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in several areas, thereby openly attempting to remove from the allegiance to the Philippine Government this part of Mindanao and deprive the Chief Executive of his powers and prerogatives” to enforce laws and maintain public peace and order there.
“[T]his recent attack shows the capability of the Maute group and other rebel groups to sow terror, and cause death and damage to property not only in Lanao del Sur but also in other parts of Mindanao,” the proclamation read.
Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas earlier told reporters that Malacañang has informed Alvarez that they would be sending a written report.
With this, Fariñas explained that the House and the Senate no longer have to convene for a joint session, which he said is done only when the President personally makes the report before Congress.
Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III has acknowledged that the Senate also received a copy.
"Yes, we received (the document) last night," he said in a text message. — with a report by Kathrina Charmaine Alvarez/ BAP, GMA News