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Lagman: Congress leaders ‘took a long nap’ without prepping joint reso on martial law

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Albay first-district Rep. Edcel Lagman is wondering what happened to the joint resolution on the approval by the Senate and the House of Representatives of the one-year extension of martial law in Mindanao.

He said he asked the secretariats of the two Houses about the resolution but neither gave any clear answers.

“The respective secretariats of the House of Representatives and the Senate are in a quandary as to the preparation or whereabouts of the enrolled copy of the joint resolution documenting the approval on December 13, 2017 of the President’s request for a one-year extension of martial law in Mindanao,” Lagman said.

“Asked for a copy of the joint resolution on December 20, 2017, Secretary General Cesar Pareja texted that his ‘office is still coordinating with the Senate on the reconciled version of the Resolution’,” Lagman said.

“On the part of the Senate secretariat, Senate Secretary Lutgardo Barbo sent on December 21, 2017 the following text message: ‘The House has not yet transmitted to us. Bills and Index was informed it was being routed for signature by House officials’,” he added.

“After sacrificing the Constitution to the altar of presidential importuning by extending baselessly martial law at the President’s behest, legislative high priests and their acolytes took a long nap without preparing and enrolling the necessary joint resolution,” Lagman said.

He added, “After extending with inordinate haste the duration of martial law in Mindanao effective January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018, the covering joint resolution is nowhere to be found or has not even been prepared or enrolled eight days after the joint session adjourned.”

Last December 13, the two Houses approved in joint session the extension sought by President Rodrigo Duterte of his proclamation declaring a state of martial law in Mindanao.

“It took the joint session only a few hours to vote for the extension of martial law based on a verbal motion without circulating any copy of a written joint resolution,” Lagman said.

“It is now taking the House and Senate officials too long to prepare and enroll the requisite joint resolution,” he added.