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Christian Monsod-led group files fourth petition vs ML extension

/ 07:20 PM January 12, 2018

Christian Monsod (RADYO INQUIRER FILE PHOTO)

A fourth petition that seeks to nullify President Rodrigo Duterte’s martial law extension has been filed with the Supreme Court.

The petition was filed by a group led by former Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman and one of the framers of the 1987 Constitution Christian Monsod. Other petitioners include Arlene Bag-Ao, Rey Paolo Santiago, Nolasco Ritz Lee Santos III, Marie Hazel Lavitoria, Nicolene Arcaina and Jose Ryan Pelongco.

Named respondents in the fourth petition were Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Armed Forces chief of staff General Rey Guerrero, Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III and Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.

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Petitioners said there was lack of sufficient factual basis to extend martial law in Mindanao.

Like the first three petitioners, they cited the government’s claim that fighting in Marawi has been terminated.

“Inasmuch as no less than the Executive, through the Secretary of National Defense had announced the cessation of armed combat and the liberation of the very city where the rebelling forces sought to establish their seat of power, as well as the death of the key leaders of the rebellion, martial law must be deemed to have thereby lost its basis, and hence have been terminated,” the petition stated.

“Its extension is, therefore, no longer justified,” petitioner added.

The first petition was filed by the minority bloc from Congress while the second petition was filed by human rights advocates. The third petition was filed by former Commission on Human Rights chair Loretta Ann Rosales.

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