PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte’s extension of martial law in Mindanao enjoys presumption of constitutionality since the Executive and the Legislative branches of government found legal and factual bases for the declaration, Malacañang insisted yesterday.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque issued the statement in reaction to former Commission on Human Rights (CHR) chairperson Etta Rosales’ petition to the Supreme Court to nullify the one-year extension of the martial law declaration and suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus.
“We welcome the challenge, but the two branches of government—the Executive and the Legislative—have already found factual and legal bases for the declaration of martial law,” Roque said in his press briefing in Valencia City, Bukidnon.
“The declaration of martial law, the extension for a year enjoys [an] overwhelming presumption of constitutionality given that both the Executive and the Legislative branches have found both legal and factual bases for the declaration of martial law. Of course, we welcome the filing of the suit because that is also the right of any citizen under the 1987 Constitution,” he stressed.
Rosales’ petition echoed the first two other petitions against the martial law extension in Mindanao—that there is no factual basis to extend the declaration since war-torn Marawi City has been liberated from the hands of the ISIS-inspired Maute group.
Marawi City was attacked on May 23 last year, prompting Duterte to declare martial law on the same day. After the 60-day martial law period lapsed, Duterte asked to extend the declaration until the end of 2017.