Supreme Court favors the declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao

The Supreme Court of the Philippines (SCOTP) on Tuesday ruled in favor of Proclamation 216 placing Mindanao under martial rule.

Spokesman Theodore Te announced the directive was issued following Tuesday’s regular en banc session of the magistrates.

Voting 11-3-1, the high court dismissed the three consolidated petitions challenging the constitutionality of the President’s move.

”The court dismissed the petitions by a vote of 11 of its members, three members voted to partially grant the petitions and one member voted to grant petitions,” Te told reporters during the press briefing.

Te, however, refused to mention the names of the justices who voted for or against the dismissal of the petitions.

The consolidated petitions were filed by opposition lawmakers led by Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, local Mindanao leaders led by Lumad leader Eufemia Campos Cullamat and a group of women from Marawi led by Norkaya Mohamad, challenged the legality of Duterte’s Proclamation No. 216 imposing a military rule and suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao after terrorists occupied Marawi City on May 23.

Te said that all 15 justices have submitted their respective opinions on the matter.

These, however, are expected to be released on Wednesday.

The SC ended the three-day oral arguments on the three consolidated petitions challenging the constitutionality of Duterte’s proclamation of martial law in Mindanao last June 15.

On May 23, President Duterte issued Proclamation No. 216, declaring a state of martial law and suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in the whole of Mindanao. This was a reaction on the attack of the Maute group in Marawi City, which is still ongoing and is subject to military operations.

Two other petitions were filed by separate groups led by former Senators Rene Saguisag and Wigberto Tañada both seeking issuance of a mandamus that would compel Senate and the House of Representatives to convene jointly to review the declaration. The SC has yet to act on these petitions.

Last June 8, the SC consolidated the two mandamus petitions asking the high court to order the Senate and the House of Representatives to convene in joint session and vote jointly on President Duterte’s Proclamation 216 declaring martial law and suspending the writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao. (PNA/ Christopher Lloyd T. Caliwan with Stephon Villanueva)

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