Press Release
September 6, 2016

Senator Gatchalian Supports Proclamation No. 55

"I defer to President Duterte's wisdom in declaring a state of national emergency on account of lawless violence through the promulgation of Proclamation No. 55.

"It is well within the exclusive prerogative of the President, as Commander-in-Chief, to call out the armed forces and the police to uphold and defend the security of the People based on sensitive yet credible intelligence which is available only to him.

"We must remember that our President is a full-fledged son of Mindanao. For decades now, he has witnessed firsthand how violence and strife have ravaged his beautiful homeland. I trust that this decision, made in the aftermath of several violent atrocities committed right at his doorstep just recently, is a purposeful move made by the President in good faith as he strives to build a just and lasting peace in Mindanao.

"That being said, I respectfully remind the President to remember the promise he has made to the People in Proclamation No. 55 - to give "due regard to the fundamental civil and political rights of our citizens" during these trying times. As Commander-in-Chief, it is also the burden of the President to ensure that the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police will carry out his orders with dignity and honor, taking care to stay within the bounds of the Constitution and the laws of the land.

"I also respectfully call on President Duterte, at the soonest possible time, to conduct a joint congressional briefing in executive session in order to orient lawmakers regarding the situation on the ground. The Senate and the House of Representatives should be prepared to do their parts in bringing about a swift and successful end to this state of national emergency."

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