Wrap up: The first joint session of Congress to tackle the President’s report on the proclamation of Martial Law

That was a great front act on the first joint session of Congress to deliberate on the President’s report on PD 1959, the proclamation of Martial Law.
When Maguindanao Rep. Didagen Dilangalen asked where the President was, the simple reply of House Speaker Prospero Nograles was that she had substantially complied with the requirements of the Constitution: she had submitted her report to Congress on Sunday, and the newly-drafted rules on the joint session did not require her to be present.
Makati Rep. Teodoro Locsin Jr. then pointed out that Dilangalen was one of those who had a petition questioning the proclamation at the Supreme Court, and said he was forum shopping.
Dilangalen, of course, had to answer that, though Nograles already said that Dilangalen, as a member of the House of Representatives, had “every right to talk in this chamber.”
The allegation was “preposterous” and “out of order,” Dilangalen said. The session was suspended, after which Locsin apologized to Dilangalen and said that, because there are other more important things that need to be tackled, he would rather that they move on to the business at hand.
“I did not come here to be insulted,” Dilangalen said, apparently unwilling to be pacified.
Nograles pointed out the remarks have already been withdrawn.
“If this continues I might change my mind,” said Teddyboy, and again session was suspended.
Of course they kissed and made up after that: “Teddyboy is a very good friend of mine,” Dilangalen said, adding that he was Teddyboy was only testing him. “Thank you very much I forgive you Teddyboy.” Continue reading


PNP operations director Andres Caro reports on the Ampatuan massacre

Police Director for Operations Andres Caro reports before the joint session on the Ampatuan massacre that happened on November 23, 2009.

He said: All in all there were 57 victims in said incident of which 22 were found unburied, 24, six and five were exhumed from grave site one, two, three. There were 36 males, 21 females and also of total, 32 were media personalities and 7 were Mangudadatu family members. 21 cafgus on duty during the incident at a nearby detachment in Bgy Salman, Ampatuan were taken into custody by investigators for questioning.

Does it look like martial law was the topic in this joint session?

Session was temporarily suspended and both senators and House representatives hobnobbed with each other. If there was tension on the floor, it was not something that could be felt from the gallery.

Locsin, accusing Dilangalen of forum shopping, tells him to go to SM instead

Makati Rep. Teodoro Locsin Jr. accuses Maguindanao Rep. Didagen Dilangalen of forum shopping, saying he has filed a case at the Supreme Court and at the same time wanted to question Arroyo over the martial law proclamation. Incensed, Dilangalen says the statement was “preposterous” and asks that Locsin be declared out of order.

House Speaker Prospero Nograles says Dilangalen, as a “member of this House,” has every right to speak. Dilangalen, meanwhile, corrects Locsin for accusing him of forum shopping, saying the term meant filing several cases, and would not apply to the situation in the House.

Session is temporarily suspended.
Continue reading

Why is the president not here? Dilangalen asks.

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, Acting Justice Secretary Agnes Devanadera, and Interior and Local Secretary Ronaldo Puno are present. Armed Forces chief Victor Ibrado and Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales are missing: Nograles explains that Ibrado was due to arrive from China at 4 p.m. while Nograles is in Singapore and will be available for tomorrow’s joint session.

Senator Richard Gordon asks why the two are absent from the joint session. If they could leave the country, he says, then maybe there is really no need to declare martial law at all.
Maguindanao Rep. Dilangalen asks why the President is not here. He expected her, he said, to explain in person the reasons why martial law was declared in his province.
Nograles says the President has “substantially complied” with the requirements of the Constitution by submitting a report in writing. According to the Congressional rules, he adds, the only two persons who were required to attend and who were not present were Ibrado and Gonzales. Continue reading

Joint Session of Congress

At 4:12 p.m., the joint session of congress opened to deliberate on president gloria macapagal arroyo’s proclamation 1959, placing maguindanao province over martial rule. 18 senators were present. 192 members of the House of Representatives were present.
The senators will occupy the first two rows in the session hall. A part of the gallery was also reserved for Senators’ staff.
Palace officials, led by Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, will explain the basis for the declaration of martial law. Under the newly-crafted rules, the House of Representatives and the Senate will have 10 hours each to interpellate.
In an earlier press conference, House Speaker Nograles said he would like to stretch the interpellation into four session days, at about five hours each.

Cory Aquino: 1933-2009

Former President Corazon Aquino, in a rally in 2006

I met Cory Aquino only once, before she found out she had cancer. The Foreign Correspondents of the Philippines (FOCAP) was trying to invite her as a speaker, ad the board of directors met with her. It was just a cordial meeting, not an on the record presser, and so no one wrote about what was said.
Yet what she said was very interesting. Continue reading