Makabayan bloc asks SC to nullify 3rd extension of martial law in Mindanao
MANILA, Philippines — The Makabayan opposition bloc at the House of Representatives has filed a petition before the Supreme Court questioning the constitutionality of the third extension of martial law in Mindanao, arguing that it lacks sufficient factual basis.
In a 39-page petition filed Wednesday, Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate, ACT Teachers Reps. Antonio Tinio and France Castro, Gabriela Reps. Emmi de Jesus and Arlene Brosas, Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao and Kabataan Rep. Sarah Elago argued that there is no sufficient factual basis for the extension of martial law until Dec. 31, 2019 since “it failed to satisfy public safety requirement in the 1987 Constitution.”
They also alleged that “Congress failed to exercise its power and duty to check the martial powers of the President.”
“When the Letter (of the President requesting for martial law extension) was subjected to the test via the open joint session, the lack of factual basis for a third extension was revealed,” the petitioners said.
“A rundown of what transpired in the joint session will yield admissions (1) that the rebellion forming the basis of Proclamation No. 216 no longer exists or at the very least, the rebellion is not of such character that public safety requires martial law and (2) that the third extension is not intended to address any rebellion but to supplant civilian government and authorities,” they added.
The opposition lawmakers also urged the High Tribunal to “consider the impact on human rights” of the martial rule extension.
READ THE PETITION HERE:
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The House Magnificent opposition bloc also filed the same petition last January 4, but Solicitor General Jose Calida has asked the SC to dismiss the petition for lack of merit.
On Dec. 12, 2018, Congress — for the third time — granted President Rodrigo Duterte’s request to extend martial law in Mindanao for another year despite protests by human rights groups and Filipinos from Mindanao. /ee
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