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Monsod, Bag-ao join petitioners vs martial law extension

Kristine Joy Patag (philstar.com) – January 12, 2018 – 6:54pm

MANILA, Philippines — Constitutionalist Christian Monsod joined the groups of petitioners challenging before the Supreme Court the constitutionality of President Rodrigo Duterte’s year-long extension of martial law in Mindanao.

On Friday, Monsod and Rep. Kaka Bag-ao (Dinagat Island) led the fourth group of petitioners asking the SC to issue a halt order on martial law in Mindanao.

Monsod, who was among the framers of the 1987 Constitution, asked the SC to exercise its “review powers, in relation to the sufficiency of the factual basis of a proclamation of martial law and/or the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus under the 1987 Constitution.”

“The independence of the review power of this Honorable Court is also vast and overarching, and is in fact transitory due to the volatile nature of an emergency situation that would justify the imposition of martial law,” the petitioners said.

They also stressed that the instances cited by Duterte in his letter to Congress do not demonstrate a situation that needs martial law.

Monsod said that what Marawi needs is rehabilitation and not military rule.

“In banking our hopes on the safeguards instituted in the present Constitution against abuse of the power to proclaim martial law, Petitioners fervently pray that as the last bastion of democracy and justice, this Honorable Supreme Court will use its authority as armor to protect the Filipino people and fight against the elements of darkness and abuse,” the petition read.

The first petition was filed by the House of Representatives’ “Magnificent Seven” led by Rep. Edcel Lagman (Albay). Members of the Makabayan bloc, represented by the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers, also filed their petition.

On Friday morning, former Commission on Human Rights chair Etta Rosales also asked the SC to stop martial law in Mindanao.

The SC is set to hold oral arguments on the consolidated petitions on January 16, 2:00 p.m. and January 17, 10:00 a.m.



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