House defends hybrid 'midnight' session

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 26 2023 02:53 PM

MANILA — The House of Representatives defended the legality of the conduct of a hybrid session Monday night, which saw the approval of several key bills, among them the reform in the pension system for military and uniformed personnel and the fiscal regime in the mining industry.

"It’s not a hybrid midnight session. It’s an authorized hybrid session (allowed under the rules) which started at 9 in the morning Monday and ended after midnight." Secretary General Reginald Velasco said in a statement to media.

According to Velasco, House Speaker Martin Romualdez authorized the conduct of hybrid sessions for September 25 and 26, 2023 sessions "to take up urgent priority measures."

Velasco's comments came after Kabataan Rep. Raoul Manuel assailed the conduct of the session, which saw many members of the House of Representatives physically absent at the Lower House.

"Sa ngayon po kasi, tingin ko hindi na aabot ng 30 [members present here]. I would be glad if mali ako, pero nasa 30 na lang po out of 300 plus ang members ng House ang nandito sa ating Session Hall," he said.

According to Manuel, hybrid session is only allowed when there are "riots or civil disturbances that would warrant us to have hybrid sessions."

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