Thursday, May 25, 2017

Congress need not sit down immediately to discuss Martial Law proclamation--Alvarez

Office of the President
of the Philippines

Manila, May 24, 2017


House of Representatives Batasan Hills, Quezon City


I have the honor to transmit for your information and guidance, a certified copy of Proclamation No. 216 dated May 23, 2017 entitled


Thank you.

M-128 Mabini Hall, Malacanang, Manila Trunkline 784-4286 loc. 4029/ 4123/ 4153



WHEREAS, Proclamation No. 55, series of 2016, was issued on 04 September 2016 declaring a state of national emergency on account of lawless violence in Mindanao;

WHEREAS, Section 18, Article VII of the Constitution provides that ilx x x In case of invasion or rebellion, when the public safety requires it, he (the President) may, for a period not exceeding sixty days, suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or place the Philippines or any part thereof under martial law x x x'1;

WHEREAS, Article 134 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by R.A, No, 6968, provides that “the crime of rebellion or insurrection is committed by rising and taking arms against the Government for the purpose of removing from the allegiance to said Government or its laws, the territory of the Republic of the Philippines or any part thereof, of any body of land, naval or other armed forces, or depriving the Chief Executive or the Legislature, wholly or partially, of any of their powers or prerogatives";

WHEREAS, part of the reasons for the issuance of Proclamation No. 55 was the series of violent acts committed by the Maute terrorist group such as the attack on the military outpost in Butig, Lanao del Sur in February 2016, killing and wounding several soldiers, and the mass jailbreak in Marawi City in August 2016, freeing their arrested comrades and other detainees;

WHEREAS, today, 23 May 2017, the same Maute terrorist group has taken over a hospital in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur, established several checkpoints within the City, burned down certain government and private facilities and inflicted casualties on the part of Government forces, and started 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 the laws of the land and to maintain public order and safety in Mindanao, constituting the crime of rebellion; and

WHEREAS, this 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.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, RODRIGO ROA DUTERTE, President of the Republic of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution and by law, do hereby proclaim, as follows:

SECTION 1. There is hereby declared a state of martial law in the Mindanao group of islands for a period not exceeding sixty days, effective as of the date hereof.

SECTION 2. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall likewise be suspended in the aforesaid area for the duration of the state of martial law.

DONE in the Russian Federation, this 23rci day of May in the year of our Lord, Two Thousand and Seventeen.

By the President:

Executive Secretary

PRRD 2016 – 002570

Congress need not sit down immediately to discuss
Martial Law proclamation--Alvarez

Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez today said it is not necessary for Congress to immediately conduct a session to discuss President Rodrigo Duterte’s proclamation placing the entire island of Mindanao under martial law.

Around 10:26 p.m. Wednesday night, the office of Alvarez received from Malacañang a copy of Duterte’s Proclamation No. 216, declaring a state of martial law and suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in the whole of Mindanao.

 In a radio interview, Alvarez said the House leadership held a meeting Wednesday in anticipation of the submission of Malacañang’s report on the declaration of martial law. Under the Constitution, the President has 48 hours from the time of the declaration of martial law to submit a report to Congress, whether in person or in writing. 

 “Ngayon, kung ito ay i-report niya personally, we have to convene Congress para tanggapin at pakinggan yung kanyang report. Pero kung ito ay gagawin niya in writing, hindi na kailangan na mag-convene kami agad-agad, unless mayroong desisyon yung mga miyembro na kailangang mag-convene kami at pag-usapan yung kanyang report,” Alvarez explained.
Alvarez said he is flying to Davao today for a meeting with Duterte.

 According to Alvarez the proclamation of martial law would be in effect for a period of 60 days unless Congress decides to either shorten or extend the period.
However, Alvarez said there is nothing in the Constitution that requires Congress to sit down immediately after the President has submitted his report on the declaration of martial law.

“Wala po akong nakitang ganoong nakalathala sa ating Konstitusyon,” Alvarez said.
He said the House would likely tackle the martial law proclamation in its session next week.
“May session naman ang Kongreso hanggang next week at puwede po natin mailahad para talakayin iyan,” Alvarez said.

The Speaker said an agreement was reached yesterday among the lawmakers, particularly those from Mindanao, to allow them to go to their respective districts to get first-hand information on the situation on the ground and provide assistance to their constituents who need help.

Alvarez reiterated that the public should not be alarmed over possible abuses because it is clear that despite the declartion of martial law, the Constitution remains in effect, and that  the courts as well as civilian authorities continue to function.

He said that while the violence erupted only in Marawi City it is necessary to place the entire Mindanao under martial law to allow authorities to pursue terrorists who would likely flee to adjacent areas.

Meanwhile, Alvarez also clarified that the martial law declaration is not only directed against Muslim terrorists.

“Hindi po natin sini-single out yung mga terorista na naniniwala sa relihiyon ng Islam, hindi po. Lahat po ng terorista ay kasama po dito na ina-address ng ating administrasyon. Hindi lang itong Maute group, hindi lang po yung Abu Sayyaf, kundi lahat po ng naghahasik po ng terrorism sa buong Mindanao,” Alvarez said. ###
Bills on donating leftovers to help fight poverty, food wastage
The House special committee on food security has opened discussions on two bills requiring restaurants to donate to charitable institutions leftover foods still fit for consumption.
House Bill (HB) 4675 or the proposed “Mandatory Food Surplus Donation Act of 2016” authored by Reps. John Marvin “Yul Servo” Nieto (3rd District, Manila) and Edward Vera-Perez Maceda (4th District, Manila) and HB 2496 or ”An Act Providing for a System of Redistributing and Recycling Food Surplus to Promote Food Security” authored by  Rep. Conrado M. Estrella III (Party-list, ABONO) both seek to help fight poverty and reduce food wastage, according to Rep. Leo Rafael M. Cueva (2nd District, Negros Occidental), chair of the committee.
Nieto and Maceda cited a recent survey by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) that found the country’s malnutrition rate among aged zero to two years old to be at 26.2 percent, the highest in 10 years.
They also quoted an official government data which says that more than 26 million Filipinos are poor, with more than 12 million living in extreme poverty and lacking the means to feed themselves.
Their bill also covers all supermarkets, hotels, fast food chains and other food establishments. The bill imposes a punishment of “imprisonment of at six months and one day to  six years, or a  fine of at least P10,000 to P100,000 on a person or corporation found violating the Act.
The bill is in consonance with the State policy of upholding “a just and dynamic social order that will ensure the prosperity and independence of the nation and free the people from poverty through policies that provide adequate social services, promote full employment, a rising standard or living, and an improved quality of life for all.”
Meanwhile, Estrella explained that his HB 2496 aims to safeguard food security, end hunger, and promote the efficient use of the country’s food resources.”
The measure also orders food-related businesses/establishments to donate to the concerned government agencies surplus foods that are no longer suitable for human consumption, to be used as organic fertilizer.
The bill requires leftover donors to submit a report to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and Department of Science and Technology (DOST) on the amount (in tons) of their edible and inedible food waste and the manner of its disposal; to enter into a contract with food banks, “non-profit, charitable or other social mission-oriented organizations that distribute food” to the poor and hungry; to shoulder the cost of transporting edible food surplus to the food bank’s warehouse or distribution center, and inedible food surplus to waste management sites; to ensure that edible food surplus is in good condition, in accordance with the standard set by the DENR, Department of Agriculture (DA), and DOST; and to enter into a contract with waste management and recycling enterprises to recycle inedible food surplus into fertilizers or compost.
The measure seeks to impose a fine of P500,000 up to P5 million on any person and/or private or public establishment who makes edible food left-over unfit for consumption, and/or prevent the redirection of edible food surplus to food banks or inedible food surplus to waste management and recycling establishments.
It also seeks to grant tax incentive to establishments which donated edible food surplus to food banks and inedible food waste for use as fertilizers in farms. #
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