Calida: Liberation of Marawi did not end rebellion in Mindanao
“The liberation of Marawi did not signal the end of the rebellion in the whole of Mindanao,” Solicitor General Jose Calida said as he filed his 63-page comment at the Supreme Court (SC) on Saturday on the petitions against martial law extension.
“These petitions rail against the extension of the martial law because Marawi has been liberated, and there is no rebellion, or the communist rebellion in Mindanao allegedly does not endanger public safety to warrant the extension and suspension,” Calida said in a statement. “It should be noted that Marawi is not the entire Mindanao. The liberation of Marawi did not signal the end of the rebellion in the whole of Mindanao.”
Calida argued that the SC has already backed the constitutionality of President Rodrigo Duterte’s martial law declaration, which recognized the existence of other rebel groups in Mindanao.
“The Supreme Court has already recognized in Lagman v. Medialdea that there are other rebel groups in Mindanao that have launched offensives,” Calida said.
“Because of the widespread atrocities in Mindanao and the linkages established among rebel groups, the armed uprising in Marawi cannot be equated with the rebellion in the other parts of Mindanao,” the solicitor general said.
All four petitions seeking to declare the martial law extension in Mindanao as unconstitutional are scheduled to be tackled during the oral arguments at the SC’s en banc session hall on January 16 at 2:00 p.m. and January 17 at 10:00 a.m.
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. The fourth petition was filed by a group led by Christian Monsod, a former Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman and one of the framers of the 1987 Constitution.
All petitioners argued that the year-long extension of martial law in Mindanao, which was approved by Congress in a joint 240-27 vote last December, lacked sufficient factual basis as Marawi had already been liberated and key leaders of the rebellion were reported dead. /atm
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