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SC could settle Joint Session standoff–Lagman

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Albay Congressman Edcel Lagman on Sunday (May 28) argued that the Supreme Court (SC) could make a ruling on the debacle that is Congress’s non-holding of a Joint Session on President Rodrigo Duterte’s Proclamation No.216.

Proclamation No.216 covers Duterte’s declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao for 60 days as a result of the Maute Group attack in Marawi City.

Right now, Congress–that is, the House of Representatives (HOR) and Senate–doesn’t appear keen on holding a Joint Session for the purpose of revoking the Martial Law declaration of the president.

“That’s a political question. Pero it is a constitutional controversy. Palagay ko ito ay pwedeng pakinggan ng Supreme Court,” opposition solon Lagman told a radio interview.

Earlier, Majority Floor Leader Rodolfo Fariñas said that a Joint Session may only occur if there is a Concurrent Resolution of both Houses. It should be noted that both Houses are dominated by Duterte’s PDP-Laban party-mates.

“I have always engaged the Majority Leader on issues he has raised. For example, sabi nya kailangan ng Concurrent Resolution para mag Joint Session. Saan ba ito? Ang Saligang Batas mismo ang nag utos na mag Joint Session. Hindi na kailangan ng Concurrent Resolution,” the white-haired Lagman said.

“Anyway kung may maypa file ng petition challenging the factual basis ng declaration of Martial Law, sapagkamat merong jurisdiction dyan ang Supreme Court, isabay na ang issue ng dereliction of duty ng leadership ng dalawang Kamara,” he added.

The SC usually refuses to rule on petitions that question political processes