Opposition asks SC to revoke martial law
Opposition lawmakers will ask the Supreme Court (SC) this week to revoke President Duterte’s martial law declaration, arguing that there was not enough justification for the Commander in Chief to impose direct military control in the entire Mindanao only to run after “terrorist bandits” in Marawi City.
Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin said his group, the independent minority bloc led by Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, and other organizations, will file a petition for certiorari against Proclamation No. 216 and convince the high court that it should be revoked.
President Duterte and Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea were among those named respondents in the petition, Villarin said.
“We want [martial law] lifted and stopped. Martial law will be implemented for 60 days but given the situation, because there is no substantive basis and in terms of justification [which is rebellion or invasion], there really is no invasion happening, and the process of [review] was not completed because Congress did not convene for a joint session,” Villarin said over dzBB.
Government forces have been fighting Maute rebels protecting Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon for two weeks now.
Mr. Duterte announced that he was declaring martial law in Mindanao to stop the Maute group that was backed by the Islamic State from establishing its presence in Marawi City.
Villarin said that despite the six-hour hearing by the House committee of the whole on Monday, he and his fellow congressmen-petitioners remained unconvinced that Mr. Duterte’s martial law declaration was justified.
Villarin said for one, “there was never a recommendation from the security [officials].”
He said even the Armed Forces had said the situation in Marawi was under control.
Most importantly, Proclamation No. 55, declared by Mr. Duterte in September last year after the Davao City blasts, has placed the country under a national state of emergency, Villarin said.
“The President really has the calling out powers [under Proclamation No. 55] so that the AFP could address all national emergencies,” the lawmaker said.
Villarin said the Maute group was made up of “plain bandits, who just like the Abu Sayyaf, do kidnapping for ransom.”
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