Solgen: SC is the final arbiter on martial law
President Duterte, invoking his mandate to protect the “greater interest of the Filipino people,” may go beyond the bounds of the 1987 Constitution and place the Philippines under martial law, Solicitor General Jose Calida said on Thursday.
Calida, however, rejected Mr. Duterte’s claim that he would be the ultimate interpreter of the Constitution if the Supreme Court and Congress found themselves on opposite sides on the legal basis of a martial law proclamation.
“The final arbiter of the Constitution under our law is the Supreme Court,” Calida told a press briefing in Malacañang.
“[But] if it is really necessary, [if] the fate of our country hangs [in] the balance and nobody moves, under the Constitution, the President is the one who executes the law,” he said.
Reminded that the Constitution specifically states that martial law may be imposed only to quell a rebellion or an invasion, the state’s primary defense counsel said the President would act accordingly “when there is really a clear and present danger to our country and nobody will help the President do his job as the father of the nation.”
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