MALACAÑANG on Friday welcomed the filing of petitions before the Supreme Court questioning the legality of the martial law extension in Mindanao.
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said martial law’s extension for a year enjoyed the overwhelming presumption of constitutionality given that both the executive and the legislative branches of government had found both legal and factual basis for it.
Former Commission on Human Rights head Etta Rosales and former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay had filed a petition before the Supreme Court questioning the one-year extension of martial law in Mindanao.
“Of course, we welcome the filing of the suit because that is also a right of any citizens under the 1987 Constitution,” Roque said.
A third petition has been filed before the Supreme Court seeking to nullify the one-year extension of martial law in Mindanao.
Lawyers Hilbay and Teddy Esteban Rigoroso and Rosales asked the high court to stop the martial law extension, saying there was no longer a factual basis for it since President Rodrigo Duterte had declared in October that Marawi City had been liberated from the ISIS-inspired Maute terrorist group.
Meanwhile, former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said Duterte was correct when he requested Congress to extend martial law declaration in Mindanao despite the government’s successful campaign against the Maute-ISIS group in Marawi City.
“The President was correct,” Enrile told reporters at the Sandiganbayan after attending the pre-trial of his plunder case over his alleged involvement in a pork barrel fund scam.
Duterte’s extension of martial law in Mindanao enjoyed the presumption of constitutionality since the Executive and the Legislative branches of government had found legal and factual bases for the declaration, Roque said.
Named respondents in the suits were Duterte, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief Rey Guererro, Senate President Koko Pimentel and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.