SolGen Calida: Zero chance for SC to reverse martial law decision

Solicitor General Jose Calida gave an affirmation regarding the Supreme Court's ruling over the validity of President Rodrigo Duterte's declaration of martial law in Mindanao. He believed firmly that the SC would stand by their decision of dismissing petitions against martial law.

He took as a basis the 11 of 15 justices who favored martial law on the ground that the president had reasonably and adequately laid down the facts that support the need for martial rue not only in the city of Marawi but in the entire Mindanao.

"With the super majority votes of the [Supreme Court] justices declaring Proclamation No. 216 as constitutional, meaning, there is sufficient factual basis for the imposition of martial law in Mindanao, my fearless forecast is that petitioners have two chances: nil and none," the solicitor general explained through a text message (via GMA Network).

It seems that the solicitor general was provoked by the opposition lawmakers spearheaded by Albay Representative Edcel Lagman who immediately expressed his disbelief about the decision of the Supreme Court, saying there were "serious errors." The group decided to send a formal objection so that the ruling would be reevaluated.

According to Lagman, the Supreme Court "denigrated" the safeguard set by the constitution which dictates the necessary conditions for the declaration of martial law; it is after the majority of the justices easily gave "much leeway and flexibility" to the President's proclamation of martial rule.

"This disquisition virtually closes the door for the [Supreme Court] to fully review the sufficiency of the factual basis of the President's exercise of extreme emergency powers," he said.

Lagman also explained that the Supreme Court seemed to neglect the implication of allowing the martial law, as it did not look closely into the President Duterte's discretion of the territorial limits of martial law, whether or not, as the state leader, he is authorized to decide solely for the scope of the military rule.

The high court, however, defended its stance over the issue, stating that the territorial scope of martial law is subject to his discretion since their is no provision in the constitution that states otherwise. It is also untrue that the martial law must only be implemented within the boundaries of the affected areas.

Photo from Politiko

"The foregoing obiter dictum was completely unnecessary. It may only further embolden the President to place the entire country under martial law," Lagman said.

His group also attacked the Supreme Court's failure to evaluate the threat of state security in Marawi. The Maute group, in unequivocal terms, is not an entity of rebellious nature with political purpose; thus, rebellion as a factual basis for the Proclamation No. 216 is problematic.

The filing of appeal was made to open only within 15 days after the decision.

Aside from Lagman's group, two other groups of activists, militant lawmakers, and a foursome of Marawi residents are planning to join to submit another set of petitions.

Furthermore, Duterte is capable of extending the implementation of martial law, which will hopefully come to an end on July 22, if and only if the buffoons in the congress approve.

Source: GMA News