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Charter framer joins fight vs martial law

/ 07:25 AM January 14, 2018

Protesters at a Sept. 21 rally last year accuse President Duterte of aping the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, who was able to rule for more than 20 years through martial law. —GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

A fourth petition against the one-year extension of martial law in Mindanao was filed ahead of the oral arguments in the Supreme Court this week.

A group of lawyers and human rights advocates, led by former Commission on Elections Chair and Constitutional Commission member Christian Monsod and Dinagat Islands Rep. Kaka Bag-ao, joined opposition to martial law extension, arguing there was no more reason for this since military operations in Marawi City against Islamic State (IS) ended in October.

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They accused the Congress of approving the extension of martial law on Dec. 13, 2017 despite having “very limited time” to question top security officials about the need to continue martial law in Mindanao.

“Congress’ act of approving the further extension of martial law is indeed unjustified and unwarranted,” the group said in its petition filed on Friday just before the close of office hours.

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The group said President Duterte himself announced that the Marawi crisis, which began when IS followers tried to set up a terrorist base in Marawi, had already ended.

“Although there are claims of regrouping by the terrorist groups, this is not tantamount to an actual rebellion in the strictest sense of the word, as to snatch a territory from the power of the state,” the group argued.

The Supreme Court would hold oral arguments on Jan. 16 and 17 on the petitions filed against martial law.

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TAGS: Christian Monsod, Kaka-Bag-ao, Mindanao martial law, Supreme Court
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