Supreme Court nod to martial law stay seen

January 06, 2019

MALACANANG is confident that the Supreme Court will uphold the continued imposition of the martial law in Mindanao to keep the island safe.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo made the statement after opposition lawmakers asked the SC to void the third extension of martial law.

The martial law and suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao was extended for the third time before 2018 ended. The third extension will last until the end of 2019.

According to Panelo, there is really nothing new with the grounds raised by the opposition lawmakers against martial law this time around. He added that like before, the SC will uphold the extension of martial law.

“The grounds cited by the opposition in opposing the third extension of martial law are more or less similar with the grounds cited in the previous petition in opposing the second extension of Martial Law,” he said Sunday.

“We are confident that the continuing rebellion in Mindanao as well the demands of public safety require the continued existence of martial law in that area, and the Supreme Court will uphold its continued imposition,” he added.

President Duterte placed Mindanao under martial law following the war in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur between government forces and pro-Islamic State terrorists. Marawi City was their battleground for five months. Duterte asked Congress to extend martial law for three times already, citing the need to keep the island safe from terrorists and other threats.

However, opposition lawmakers led by Representative Edcel Lagman asked the SC on Friday to invalidate martial law’s third extension, saying it violates and mocks the 1987 Philippine constitution.

According to the petitioners, contrary to the claims of the administration, rebellion does no exist and persist in Mindanao and that safety is not imperiled.