SC to hold oral argument on third martial law extension
MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court will hold oral arguments on the third extension of martial law in Mindanao.
During Wednesday’s en banc session, a court insider confirmed that the oral arguments have been set for January 22 and 23.
The petition was filed last week by the so-called ‘Magnificent 7’ in Congress led by Albay 1st District Representative Edcel Lagman.
The other petitioners were Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin, Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat Jr, Caloocan City 2nd District Rep. Edgar Erice, Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano, Quezon City 6th District Rep. Jose Christopher Belmonte, and Dinagat Islands Rep. Kaka Bag-ao.
Petitioners said the third martial law extension and suspension of writ of habeas corpus is in violation of the 1987 Constitution because “public safety is not imperiled” and rebellion does not exist in the entire Mindanao, contrary to the claims of the Duterte administration.
“President Duterte’s letter dated 06 December 2018 to the Congress initiating a third extension failed to demonstrate the sufficient factual basis for his request, and his allegations of lawless violence and terrorism were not connected to rebellion,” Lagman said.
READ: Duterte asks Congress to extend Mindanao martial law until end 2019
Lagman and his co-petitioners were among those who voted against the third extension. He said that with the extension, there would be now 891 days of prolonged military rule in the south.
Last year, the high court also conducted an oral argument on the validity of the Martial Law’ extension. The petitions were all dismissed by the high court. /ee
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