Speaker Manuel Villar said yesterday he was ''keeping an open mind'' on proposals to grant President Estrada emergency powers to deal with the conflict in Mindanao and elsewhere.
He said he was mindful of Congress' "exclusive powers" as mandated by the Constitution to grant the Chief Executive extraordinary powers in coping with the southern "war," mindful of the stress on economic development.
Villar's statement highlighted his regular weekly multi-media conference at the House of Representatives' Media Center in Diliman, Quezon City.
The leader of the House of Representatives said he foresees a long debate on the proposal to grant Mr. Estrada with extraordinary powers to deal with peace and order and the national economy which he described as "manageable."
The House leader said, "There may be no need for a special session if the left-over work by at least five committees is finished before the opening of the regular session."
Should a special session be convened, he said, this would only be to ratify …