Monsod, rights lawyers join chorus vs martial law in Mindanao
Former Commission on Elections Chair Christian Monsod and human rights lawyers have asked the Supreme Court to nullify the continued imposition of martial law in Mindanao.
Echoing the arguments raised by Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman and the Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives, Monsod’s group said there was no factual basis to extend martial law on the island until the end of 2019.
Basis of Comelec reports
“The factual situation present in Mindanao… does not show that courts or the branches of government are unable to carry out its functions,” it said.
The group said that despite martial law, the Comelec still held the barangay elections in Mindanao in May 2018 “on the basis of the reports of Comelec regional officials that conditions in [the region], except in Marawi, make free… peaceful and credible elections… feasible.”
“If the factual situation still calls for an extension of martial law, then both the May  elections and any plebiscite to overhaul the Constitution in 2019 must be postponed,” it said.
President Duterte first imposed martial rule in Mindanao in May 2017 due to terrorist siege of Marawi City.
Congress allowed a first extension until the end of 2017, and a second extension until the end of 2018. —Dona Z. Pazzibugan
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