Martial law in Mindanao justified, say lawyers, legal experts
Lawyers’ group and legal experts believe that the declaration of martial law in Mindanao is justified.
“In view of what has happened in Marawi City, the imminent danger of the escalation and spread of the hostilities to other parts of Mindanao, and the existence of other terrorist groups operating in Mindanao that can take advantage of the unrest and cause criminal acts and disorder, the national leadership of the IBP sees no reason to question the declaration at this time,” the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) said in a statement issued Wednesday. IBP is a mandatory organization of lawyers with more than 60,000 members.
Retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Vicente Mendoza and former UP Law Dean Pacifico Agabin echoed IBP’s view.
“I have not read the proclamation but the violence in Marawi must have been deemed rebellion to justify martial law,” Agabin said in a text message.
Mendoza, on the other hand, said “from what I heard and read, it seems to me that there is really a need for declaring martial law.”
Both Mendoza and the IBP said there are safeguards in place under the law.
“If you don’t agree with that [declaration of martial law] I think you’re remedy is to challenge that and how do you challenge that? Any person who is arrested without warrant can file a petition for habeas corpus and if it’s denied by the court on the ground that martial law has been declared, you can challenge the declaration of martial law,” Mendoza said.
The IBP, on the other hand, said that the Constitution is very clear on the fact that a martial law declaration will not result in any diminution of the public’s rights and that civil and judicial authorities will continue to function except in the affected conflict areas.
It however cautioned the police and military to wield its power with caution and continue to respect the rule of law.
“IBP supports all legal means to end this unrest in Mindanao and encourage the achievement of peace through lawful means,” the IBP said.
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