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GMA Considering Lifting Maguindanao Martial Law Soon – Highly Placed Sources (Updated: Proc. 1959 Is Being Lifted At 9 PM Of Dec. 12)

December 9, 2009

Pres. Arroyo is close to a decision to lift her placement of troubled- Maguindanao province under martial law nearly a week after issuing Proclamation 1959 in the wake of the November 23 massacre of at least 57 civilians including media practitioners.

At least three highly-placed sources told this writer several minutes ago the Palace “expects the joint session of the Senate and the House of Representatives to vote to uphold Proclamation 1959 by at least a solid majority, thereby validating the soundness of the chief executives’ invocation of Section 18, Article 7 of the 1987 Constitution.”

“The President is gratified by the results of the police and military operations these since Friday last week when the uniformed services worked well within the bound of the law while scoring breakthroughs in dismantling the ‘rebellion-apparatus” of State enemies in Maguindanao by discovering buried arms caches of the Ampatuans, and helping our judicial authorities come closer to solving the dastardly killings,” my sources said.

My sources added”martial law in Maguindanao may be lifted as early as the weekend as authorities are able to fully suppress rebellious civilian volunteer bands and law and order is fully restored in the province.”

“We are confident the rebellion cases now being presented against the enemies of the State will proceed without delay.”

The lifting of the martial law edict down South will certainly by welcomed by all sectors, including those who’ve filed petitions before the Supreme Court questioning the legality of Proclamation 1959.

The joint Senate and House Session on the martial law proclamation is due to begin at 4 p.m. today with spirited exchanges initially expected to focus on the rules governing the conduct of the deliberations.

While motions seeking the revocation of Proc. 1959 are expected to be presented on the floor, these are ” expected to be voted down on the sheer dominance of Palace allies.” my sources claim.

The senators and congressmen are expecting the deliberations to run into the late hours through to Thursday or even Friday.

Initially the members of the Cabinets comprising the national security cluster, led by newly-minted Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales, Justice Secretary Agnes Devanadera, plus Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, are expected to render reports before the Joint Session.

These include the 20-page report on the Maguindanao Massacre plus the reported “massing of rebellious groups” that prompted the martial law declaration.

The President’s men, while “getting support from the administration’s congressional allies,” are expected to face intense grilling’ about Malacanang’s contentions of a “brewing rebellion and the breakdown of the judicial syste, Maguindanao.

However the deliberations do turn out, history is being written these next 72-plus hours.

ABS-CBN recapped Day 2 of the Joint Session thus:

Update:

Executive Secretary Ermita announced at 4:15 p.m. of Saturday, Dec. 12 that “Pres. Arroyo had approved the recommendation of the National Security cluster of her Cabinet for Proclamation 1959 to be lifted at 9 p.m. later today.”

Ermita said the action was based, among others, on “the restoration of law and order, the return to normalcy of local government fnctions and the criminal justice system.”

Ermita also cited “the effective actions to clear rebel positions in six Maguindanao towns, the taking into custody of 62 rebellious entities while rebellion cases have already been filed against those that organized the rebel forces.”

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