MANILA, Philippines — Leaders of Congress have deliberately caused “undue delay in the preparation and enrollment” of the joint resolution extending martial law in Mindanao for another year to thwart attempts to challenge it before the Supreme Court, an opposition lawmaker said Saturday, December 23.
“The patent design is to deprive challengers of the extension from attaching in their petitions before the Supreme Court the required certified true copy of the enrolled joint resolution,” Albay Representative Edce Lagman said in a statement.
“As the delay progresses, aggravated by the ensuing holidays, the effectivity of the (martial law) extension on January 1, 2018 will soon set in. Once the extension becomes effective, any petition or prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order or a writ of preliminary injunction may be mooted,” he said.
On Friday, December 22, Lagman asked for a copy of the joint resolution approved by Congress in joint session on December 13.
“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.
But Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas said since the joint resolution will take effect on January 1, 2018, “there is no need to rush it, like Representative Lagman wishes for.”
“Unlike bills approved by Congress, a Joint Resolution does not have to be transmitted to the President for his approval. The Speaker and I have already signed the Joint Resolution and will be transmitted to our Senate counterparts for their signatures,” he said.
“Representative Lagman may rest assured that the Joint Resolution will be duly enrolled before its effectivity on January 1, 2018,” Fariñas added.