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‘No basis for ML extension’

Mere whiffs of threats of rebellion and invasion cannot be used to declare martial law under the Constitution, a drafter of the Charter yesterday said before the Supreme Court (SC) during the resumption of the oral arguments into the petition questioning Malacañang’s extension of martial law in strife-torn Mindanao.

Christian Monsod, a member of the 1986 constitutional commission, said the martial law provision was included because “we want to cover an extraordinary situation. That is why the provision is specific, extraordinary and ultimate.”
“Martial law is supposed to be for exceptional case. We made the window smaller for declaration of martial law. We took away imminent danger, insurrection and the likes,” Monsod recalled.
Monsod opined that the SC’s decision in July last year upholding President Duterte’s martial law declaration “seems to say that it is a measure of first resort rather than a last resort.”
He also reminded the justices of their duty to review the factual basis of the extension of martial law, arguing that there is no existing rebellion or invasion to justify it.
“You asked your honor why are we relying more on 15 justices rather than 292 congressmen and 24 senators (because) that is the essence of the separation of powers and the system of checks and balances in our Constitution and there is a vetting process by which the 15 justices are assumed to have the wisdom, experience and the fortitude to stand up to the other powers of government,” Monsod told the justices during interpellation.
“I was taught in law school that the Executive is the sword, the Legislative is the purse and the Judiciary is the conscience of the nation. That is why we are here today,” Monsod added.
Monsod is one of the four petitioners in the latest legal challenge on martial law declaration, which was already upheld by the High Court last year. The other three are former Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Chairperson Loretta Ann Rosales, a group of congressmen led by Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel Lagman and another group led by Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate and Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao.
The groups cited Duterte’s admission that the government has achieved victory over the ISIS-linked Maute terror group in October last year after a nearly five-month campaign to oust them from Marawi City.
They pointed out that the grounds raised by the Executive branch in extending martial law, which was approved by Congress, “do not rise to the level of rebellion that constitutes a threat to public safety as contemplated by the Constitution.”
Solicitor General Jose Calida is seeking the dismissal of the petitions for lack of basis.
The High Tribunal will continue the oral arguments today with Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Armed Forces Chief of Staff Rey Leonardo Guerrero and Philippine National Police Chief Director General Roland dela Rosa invited to attend.

1 comment

  • Peter

    Kung sa katahimikan at ikauunlad ng buong ka Mindanawan bakit kailangan pigilan nila Munsod at Tae Rosales alam naman nila ang Mindanaw ay pugad g mga lawless element
    Para sa pag supil sa mga masasamang elemento ML ang
    tangngin lunas

    Peter Wednesday, 17 January 2018 04:51 Comment Link

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