Martial law extension in Mindanao, upholds by SC for the 3rd time - BALITANG PINOY

"Philippines and World Trending News Website"

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Martial law extension in Mindanao, upholds by SC for the 3rd time

For the third time, the Supreme Court majority voted 9-4 on Tuesday to upheld the the constitutionality of the  extension of martial law and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in the war-torn Mindanao until the end of 2019.

Supreme Court Spokesman Brian Keith Hosaka confirmed the voting and validity of Martial Law extension in the south.

In a press statement, the Chief Hosaka said four petitions were dismissed challenging the constitutionality of the extension by the High Court during its full court session.

Reasons for the dismissal of the petitions did not been stated by the PIO.

The dismissed were the consolidated petitions filed by the groups of Albay Rep. Edcel C. Lagman, Bayan Muna Party-List Rep. Carlos Isagani T. Zarate, Christian S. Monsod, and Rius Valle who were lawmakers, human rights lawyers and Mindanao residents.

Those who voted in favor of the constitutionality of the extension were Chief Justice Lucas P. Bersamin and Associate Justices Diosdado M. Peralta, Mariano C. del Castillo, Estela M. Perlas Bernabe, Andres B. Reyes Jr., Alexander G. Gesmundo, Jose C. Reyes Jr., Ramon Paul L. Hernando and Rosamari D. Carandang.

Those who voted to grant the petitions were Senior Associate Justice Antonio T. Carpio and Associate Justices Marvic Mario Victor F. Leonen, Francis H. Jardeleza, and Alfredo Benjamin S. Caguioa.

Hosaka said that Justice Carandang who was the most junior member of the current SC table, will now be the new ponente since Justice Caguoia voted for the minority eventhough his assignment was to take charge of the martial law extension petitions.

Hosaka also told that the oral arguments on the petitions were held on January 29.

The copy of information in the decision has not been released.

Likewise, the Congress in a joint session in December, voted 235-28-1 in majority favor of extending martial law in Mindanao for the third time until year end.

Speaker Gloria Arroyo, then was glad for the pronouncement of the martial law extension.

“It’s good, we’re very happy because we voted to extend it,” Arroyo told reporters in an ambush interview after attending the House oversight hearing on the Department of Public Works and Highways’ (DPWH) flood control projects.

The SC upheld constitutionality of Duterte’s martial law declaration in its subsequent year-long extensions on the end of 2017 and of 2018 as a result of the attack in Marawi City by the terrorist Maute Group and its followers.

However, petitioners led by Albay 1st district Rep. Edcel Lagman still insisted that there was no factual basis to justify the violent incidents to extend martial law in Mindanao, saying those were acts of terrorism and not rebellion as required by law in declaring martial law.

“The following acts of terrorism and lawless violence mentioned in the letter dated 06 December 2018 of the President do not per se evince the existence of rebellion and the President failed to connect or relate said acts to rebellion or furtherance of rebellion,” petitioners reteirated.

“Terrorism is not equivalent to rebellion because they differ in motive, target and scope: While terrorism has the purpose of sowing fear and panic among the populace, rebellion is an armed uprising against the government for the culpable purpose of removing the country or a portion thereof from allegiance to the Republic or preventing the President or the Congress from exercising their respective powers,” they added.

Meanwhile, Solicitor General Jose C. Calida stated during the oral arguments in behalf of the Executive and Legislative departments of government that there is still the need to extend martial law because of the ongoing threats to public safety and menace of rebellion not only by communist groups but as well as the local terrorist groups, especially those Daesh-inspired groups.

“In the present case, it is apparent that the NPA continues to rise publicly and take up arms against the government. From January 1 to December 31, 2018, there have been a total of 369 NPA-initiated violent incidents. 193 of these were committed in Mindanao alone,” he said.

"The Jolo cathedral bombing was part of the ongoing rebellion. But even without the Jolo bombing we already have factual basis for the extension of martial law,” he added.

He cited official reports of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on ongoing rebellion of the Daesh-Inspires groups and its local and foreign allies, particularly the Daulah Islamiyah (DI) and also of the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) forces in Mindanao which are key requirement for declaration of martial law under the Constitution.

No comments:

Post a Comment