Philippine lawmakers ask top court to nullify martial law

07 June, 2017, 10:56 | Author: Essie Rivera
  • Reuters  Erik de Castro file

"Nowhere in the Constitution does it state that the President's declaration of martial law needs the recommendation or concurrence of the Defense Secretary, or any cabinet official", Calida said, refuting the petitioners' argument that Duterte acted alone in declaring martial law without the benefit of a recommendation from his cabinet.

The constitution allows martial law to be imposed only in the event of invasion or rebellion.

Named respondents were Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea; Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, martial law administrator, and AFP chief Gen. Eduardo Año, martial law implementor.

President Rodrigo Duterte issued Proclamation 216 last May 23 which declares martial law and suspends the writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao following a clash between government troops and members of a local terror group in Marawi City.

"The President's proclamation of martial law in Mindanao has no sufficient factual basis as it is feebly based on mostly contrived and/or inaccurate facts, self-serving speculations, enumeration of distant occurrences and mere conclusions of fact and law on the purported existence of "rebellion or invasion", the lawmakers said. Duterte appeared dismissive of the ceasefire's failure, insisting he was confident they'd conquer the city within three days anyhow.

The petitioners said the element of "rising and taking up arms against the government" may be present in Marawi City, but there is absolutely no credible and sufficient factual basis for the culpable goal as stated in the Constitution the removal of allegiance to the Republic.

They said the alleged "siege" of Marawi City was actually an armed resistance by the Maute Group to shield Hapilon from capture, not to overrun Marawi and remove its allegiance from the Republic. It said the proclamation contained "fatal inaccuracies and falsities".

With overwhelming "ayes", The House of Representatives last Wednesday adopted a resolution expressing its "full support" to President Duterte in his declaration of martial law in Mindanao.

"1. Contrary to the President's Report, the Amai Pakpak Medical Center (APMC) was not overrun by the Maute Group according to Dr. Amer Saber, APMC's Medical Director, and the medical facility remains operational".

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The police chief of Malabang in Lanao del Sur, Senior Insp. They said that a dictatorship is not a handiwork of one man but a collective effort of complicit individuals and institutions.

In his report, Aguirre pointed out that the joint attack by the Maute and Abu Sayyaf groups in Marawi City was a "prelude to eventually take over the entire island".

Senators Francis Escudero said he does not agree with the opposition because be he believes there is enough basis to place Mindanao under military rule.

He said that days before seizing Marawi the militants placed supplies in mosques and madrasas, the religious schools of a town whose population of over 200,000 is overwhelmingly Muslim in a country where the majority of people are Christians.

Solicitor General Jose Calida however said that he is ready to defend the President's declaration of martial law.

He agreed with Escudero there is enough basis for the declaration.

"Waste basket lang yun, kung bakit nagdesisyon na separately ang House at tsaka ang Senate that they are backing the declaration of martial law as sufficient in compliance sa law at tsaka sa facts".

A presidential spokesman said 120 militants have died in the battle, along with 38 government forces.

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