MANILA—The Congress was urged by Sen. Francis Pangilinan to hold a joint session on the declaration of martial law and the suspension of the privilege of writ of habeas corpus.
“With all due respect to our esteemed colleagues, Congress must hold a joint session on the declaration of martial law and the suspension of the privilege of writ of habeas corpus — in a public and transparent manner and in an official proceeding,” Pangilinan said in a statement.
He noted that the writ of habeas corpus requires a person under arrest to be brought before a judge. This is used for people who believe they are unlawfully detained, and are thus questioning their arrest or detainment.
The senator, however, said that if sensitive matters may compromise ongoing operations and safety of military and police then the Congress can go into executive session.
While Article VII Section 18 of the constitution does not mandate Congress to approve the two extraordinary executive powers declared by the President, Pangilinan said that people deserved the right to be informed.
“…Public accountability, transparency, and the right of our people to be informed of matters of public interest are all constitutional tenets, and thus form constitutional bases for the joint session,” Pangilinan said.
“It is legally untenable that revoking the declaration and thereby sparing our citizens from the infringement of their rights must be done in a joint public session, while allowing it to remain uncontested with the rights of millions curtailed or diminished need not be done in an official proceeding,” he added.