Arroyo declares martial law in Maguindanao
Manila (5 December) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo last night placed the province of Maguindanao under martial law to prevent further deterioration of the peace and order situation in the province arising from the massacre of 57 civilians including 30 journalists widely attributed to the powerful Ampatuan clan.
The declaration of martial law is contained in Presidential Proclamation No. 1959 issued last night following an emergency meeting of the National Security Council. The state of martial law is effective for 60 days.
Proclamation 1959 was read on television early this morning by Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita. He said that within 48 hours, a formal report will be submitted to Congress according to procedures mandated by the 1987 Constitution. Following receipt of the report, Congress is then required to assemble in joint session to vote for or against the continuation of martial law.
Details of the proclamation and related developments will be explained in a formal press conference today, according to Press Secretary Cerge Remonde. (PIA) [top]