DOJ says case vs Mindanao martial law in SC bound to fail | Inquirer News

DOJ says case vs Mindanao martial law in SC bound to fail

/ 05:34 AM December 18, 2018

DOJ says case vs Mindanao martial law in SC bound to fail

VIGILANT CITIZENS Protesters gather outside the House of Representatives in a futile attempt to sway legislators into rejecting President Duterte’s bid to extend martial law in Mindanao. —JAM STA. ROSA

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra expressed confidence that any legal challenge to President Rodrigo Duterte’s proclamation to extend martial law in Mindanao until the end of 2019 was “bound to fail.”

He argued that the Supreme Court would have to rely on the same set of information that Malacañang used to convince Congress to approve the extension.


“For as long as the government can clearly show that there is factual basis for the further effectivity of martial law, then I guess that petition [against martial law] is bound to fail,” the justice secretary told reporters on Monday.


He said the President, as the Commander in Chief, was expected to base his proclamation on information from his security advisers and “this information is not available to people outside the presidency.”

Guevarra was asked to comment on the plan of some opposition lawmakers to petition the Supreme Court to override the third extension of martial law in Mindanao.

The President first placed Mindanao under martial law in May 2017 due to the terrorist siege in Marawi City and then extended it twice — until the end of 2017 and then until the end of 2018.

He extended martial law for the third time until Dec. 31, 2019 supposedly to defeat armed groups that “continue to defy the government by perpetrating hostile activities.”

In a special joint session last week, Congress approved the latest extension with a vote of 235 lawmakers in favor, 28 against and one abstention.

Under the Constitution, the Supreme Court may review the “sufficiency of the factual basis” of the presidential proclamation of martial law, should any citizen file a petition for review.


“If Congress has resolved to believe the facts presented before them that rebellion continues to exist in Mindanao, I guess the Supreme Court, without preempting it, will find it difficult to say that factual basis does not exist,” Guevarra said.

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TAGS: DoJ, Rodrigo Duterte, Supreme Court

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