Extension of Bayanihan Law is Unconstitutional - Drilon

Extension of Bayanihan Law is Unconstitutional - Drilon

Senate Minority Floor leader Franklin Drilon this early on questions the constitutionality of the proposed extension of the Bayanihan to Heal as One law, which granted the President emergency powers to address the coronavirus pandemic in the country.

In a joint hearing of the Senate committees on finance and economic affairs, the opposition leader raised the issue of constitutionality on the proposal to extend the validity of the Bayanihan Act, noting that powers granted by Congress cease when it is adjourned, citing Section 23 Article 6 of the Constitution.

 As per the approved the Bayanihan law will lapse on June 24, while Congress is set to adjourn on June 6.

Senate Minority Floor leader Franklin Drilon
(photo credit to owner)

The committees are tackling if there is a need to extend the said law for another three months or up until September. A similar bill is also filed in the lower house.

“My strict reading of this provision (Section 23),” said Drilon, “indicates that it appears that Congress is not authorized to extend the law because the provision does not say that it can be extended as distinguished and as contrasted to the  proclamation of the martial law, and the suspension of the privilege of writ of habeas corpus.”

Drilon cited the discussions of Fr. Joaquin Bernas, one of the framers of the 1987 Constitution, on the spirit of Section 23, Article 6 of the charter.
“Father Bernas is of the view that when Congress is not in session and is therefore unable to act on emergency situations, the President himself is stripped of his emergency powers,” Drilon said.

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Report from PDI

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