Supreme Court affirms legality of Mindanao martial law

June 20, 2019
Supreme Court

IT’S final.

The second extension of martial law in war-torn Mindanao last year was valid.

The Supreme Court junked the motion for reconsideration filed by petitioners led by Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman who questioned the constitutionality of the extension last year.

In a resolution released yesterday, the SC stressed the issue was moot and academic citing the new extension in 2019, which was upheld by the tribunal last February.

Last year, the SC declared the extension of martial law constitutional as it nixed the consolidated petitions filed by Lagman, activists and militant lawmakers, former Commission on Human Rights chairperson Etta Rosales and the group led by 1986 Constitutional Commission member Christian Monsod.

In the ruling penned by SC Associate Justice Noel Tijam, the high court said it is far from unreasonable for the President to include the Reds’ rebellion in the further extension of martial law in Mindanao given the scale of attacks perpetrated by communist rebels.

The SC ruling declaring the one-year extension of martial law in Mindanao as constitutional and had “sufficient factual bases” was concurred in by Associate Justices Presbitero Velasco, Jr., Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin, Mariano del Castillo, Estela Perlas Bernabe, Samuel Martires, Andres Reyes, Jr., and Alexander Gesmundo.

In December last year, Congress granted President Duterte’s request to extend martial law in Mindanao until Dec. 31, 2018.

Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao in May 2017, following the attack of the Maute group in Marawi City.