Opposition gives up on martial law challenge
OPPOSITION lawmakers will no longer challenge the extension of martial law in Mindanao before the Supreme Court, saying the current composition of the tribunal would make it an exercise in futility.
“The… opposition congressmen have decided not to file a petition challenging the constitutionality of the congressional extension of 150 days of the declaration of martial law and suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in the whole of Mindanao,” said Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman.
The Court had earlier dismissed Lagman’s petition to nullify President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of martial law in Mindanao after Islamic State-inspired terrorists overran Marawi City on May 23. The Court rejected Lagman’s argument that there was no factual basis for the declaration since no rebellion had taken place.
The Court also rejected separate petitions asking it to compel Congress to hold a joint session to review Duterte’s declaration of martial law.
In a special session on July 22, both chambers of Congress voted to grant President Duterte’s request to extend martial law until the end of the year, after the original 60-day period had expired.
Lagman said he and his colleagues would not longer purse a petition against the extension because “the composition of the Supreme Court may not be disposed to favorably act on the petition after it refused to exercise jurisdiction against the legislature in two mandamus cases.”
“With the current temperament of the Supreme Court, it may be an exercise in futility to press for the declaration of nullity of the congressional extension,” he added.
Lagman said, however, that he would launch another legal challenge if there are abuses under martial law.