SC terminates oral arguments on martial law proclamation
The Supreme Court has terminated the oral argument on the petitions questioning the validity of Proclamation 216 or the martial law proclamation of President Rodrigo Duterte in the entire Mindanao.
At a press conference Thursday held at the Supreme Court lobby, SC’s Information Chief Atty. Theodore Te said all parties have been given on or before June 19, 2017 at 2 in the afternoon to submit their memoranda.
“From there, the case will be submitted for decision,” Te said.
The high court conducted an internal deliberation upon the request of Solicitor General Jose Calida.
Aside from Calida and the Supreme Court Justices, present during the internal deliberations were representatives of the anti-martial law petitioners led by Albay Representative Edcel Lagman, Defense Secretary and martial law administrator Delfin Lorenzana and Armed Forces Chief of Staff and martial law implementor Eduardo Año.
“They [Lorenzana and Año] were there because they have been requested to provide information relevant for consideration of the Court to determine sufficiency of the factual basis under Article VII Section 18 of the 1987 Constitution,” Te said.
Calida, on the other hand, said it is necessary to keep the session internal because intelligence information and operations have been discussed with the justices and the parties.
“Because of the sensitivity of the answers that were given, the Supreme Court, in its discretion, limited the members, persons who can hear the testimonies,” Calida told reporters after the internal deliberation.
Calida said Año had a powerful presentation, and confidential documents were given to the Supreme Court.
The case will be resolved on or before July 5, the 30th day deadline under the Constitution for the Supreme Court to promulgate its decision.
Three petitions have been consolidated and heard by the Supreme Court during the three-day oral argument. All three petitions asked the high court to nullify Duterte’s martial law proclamation.
Two other petitions were filed by separate groups led by former senators Rene Saguisag and Wigberto Tañada both seeking issuance of a mandamus that would compel Senate and the House of Representatives to convene jointly to review the declaration. JE
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