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Duterte gets House support for martial law declaration

The House of Representatives on Wednesday night approved a resolution expressing its "full support" for President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of martial law in Mindanao.

Resolution 1050 was adopted via viva voce vote at the plenary session, mere hours after it got the nod of the House, functioning as the Committee of the Whole.

It states that the House “finds no reason to revoke” the President’s proclamation, which placed the whole of Mindanao under martial law for 60 days and suspended the writ of habeas corpus.

It was initially approved at the end of the Committee of the Whole meeting, where lawmakers received a briefing on the situation from members of Duterte’s Cabinet.

The resolution states that House members “determined the sufficiency of the factual basis” of the proclamation after the said briefing.

Both approvals were made by all House members, first as the Committee of the Whole, in which the lower chamber constitutes itself as such functions like any other House panel acting upon a bill or resolution.

Meanwhile, more than 50 lawmakers from Mindanao have signed a manifesto of support for Duterte’s declaration of martial law in their region.

Joining in the said show of support are several House leaders, including Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez (Davao del Norte, 1st district); Deputy Speakers Bai Sandra Sema (Maguindanao, 1st district), Ferdinand Hernandez (South Cotabato, 2nd district), and Mylene Garcia-Albano (Davao City, 2nd district); and Mindanao Affairs committee chair Maximo Rodriguez Jr. (Cagayan de Oro, 2nd district).

Though from Ilocos Norte, Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas also signed the manifesto.

The Mindanao bloc said they understood that Duterte made the declaration because of the clashes between the military and the Maute local terror group, and to suppress “the rebellious acts” of this group, as well as the Abu Sayyaf, “in order to protect our fellow Mindanaoans.”

The manifesto was released on Wednesday afternoon, but Mindanao lawmakers pointed out that they agreed to support martial law a day after Duterte's declaration.

Rodriguez noted that the proclamation was “an appropriate measure to prevent the spilling over of lawless elements.”

“The crisis in Marawi is not an isolated one. There are certain areas where the Maute group has an influence. The growing influence of ISIS [is there], so it’s important, since it started in Mindanao, it has to be contained in Mindanao and finished in Mindanao, so as not to spread to the rest of the country,” he added. — BAP, GMA News