“Martial law is the future refusing to be born.”
– Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago at Day 2 of Congress joint session on Proclamation 1959, 9 Dec 2009
Day 2 of Congress’ joint session was pretty much a repetition of Day 1, save for Sen. Santiago’s impassioned and, might I say, highly-anticipated, speech. Unlike Day 1, however, the gallery was nearly half-empty with majority of the House members conspicuously missing in action. While Senate members were mostly consistent in attendance considering that they still conducted budget deliberations prior to the 2:00pm joint session.
The President, of course, was still a no-show. DND Sec. Norberto Gonzales was present though he made no significant statements the whole time. The Executive mostly let DOJ Sec. Agnes Devanadera bear the brunt of the opposition’s blows, prompting her to blurt out a very revealing admission: the Executive believed/s that the suspension of the privilege of writ of habeas corpus effectively suspends the Bill of Rights, and thus, removes the constitutional requirement for due process! It’s official, Devanadera has now earned her rightful place as heir to predecessor Raul Gonzales as the most-hated foot-in-mouth Arroyo apologist.
As the session progressed, arguments that there was NO FACTUAL BASIS to declare martial law in Maguindanao, that the proclamation is unconstitutional, unnecessary and an overkill, and that rebellion charges would only serve to exonerate the Ampatuans became stronger as reiterated by the interpellators.
Meanwhile, the AFP’s latest statement that martial law may be lifted before Christmas fails to appease the public what with a string of curious coincidences within the last 24 hours — a high-profile hostage crisis in Agusan del Sur, a quite sudden huge fire breaking out in the busy streets of Recto, and, alas, reports of a military truck allegedly ambushed by armed “rebel” forces in Maguindanao. Plus, Speaker Nograles is now dubbing the joint sessions as a unicameral rehearsal. Lo and behold the unfolding of events, tis not the season to be jolly, not at all.
Below is the full text of Sen. Santiago’s speech.
Miriam Santiago vs Martial Law http://d1.scribdassets.com/ScribdViewer.swf?document_id=23922378&access_key=key-fxhn7lerr8juifkb4rj&page=1&version=1&viewMode=list