15 senators back Mindanao martial law

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 30 2017 10:13 AM | Updated as of May 30 2017 11:15 AM

MANILA - (UPDATED) Fifteen senators have filed a resolution expressing support for President Rodrigo Duterte's declaration of martial law in Mindanao and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in the south.

Duterte, through Proclamation 216, placed the entire Mindanao island under martial rule last Tuesday after terrorist groups torched several buildings in Marawi, clashed with state troops and abducted some civilians.

Filed Monday, Senate Resolution 388 said the acts committed by the Maute group are an open attempt to remove part of Mindanao from allegiance to the Philippine government, which constitute the crime of rebellion, a ground for declaring martial law.

"The Senate finds the issuance of Proclamation No. 216 to be satisfactory, constitutional and accordance with the law. The Senate hereby supports fully Proclamation No. 216 and finds no compelling reason to revoke the same," the resolution read.

Those who introduced the resolution were Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III and Senators Vicente "Tito" Castelo Sotto III, Ralph Recto, Sonny Angara, Nancy Binay, JV Ejercito, Sherwin Gatchalian, Richard Gordon, Gregorio Honasan, Panfilo Lacson, Loren Legarda, Emmanuel Pacquiao, Joel Villanueva, Cynthia Villar and Juan Miguel Zubiri.

Opposition senators who did not sign the resolution are set to give a press conference later Tuesday.

Five senators from the minority bloc -- Francis Pangilinan, Franklin Drilon, Risa Hontiveros, Antonio Trillanes IV and Bam Aquino -- earlier sought a joint Congressional session to tackle the martial law declaration.

"One aspect of a joint session that no one is talking about is that the people can actually get to see the security managers explain the reasons behind martial law," Aquino said in an interview with ANC's Headstart.

"Ano yung plano, ano yung hangganan? What are the limits? Hear it from them that they will follow the constitution. And now I think that's important to see," he added.

The fighting in Marawi has killed at least 100 people, mostly Maute bandits.

The Philippine military said on Monday it was close to retaking Marawi. -- With reports from Sherrie Ann Torres, Zandro Ochona and Tj Billones, ABS-CBN News