Palace confident SC will dismiss petition against extending martial law in Mindanao: Panelo
Malacanang is confident that the Supreme Court will uphold the continued imposition of martial law in Mindanao and dismiss a petition filed by Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman.
"The grounds cited by the members of the opposition in questioning the third extension of martial law are more or less similar with the grounds cited in their previous petition to nullify the second extension of martial law, which petition was dismissed by the Supreme Court," said Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo in a statement on Sunday.
''No new new arguments have been presented while rebellion and the threat to public safety in Mindanao remain. Case law therefore dictates that the current petition merits dismissal as well," added Panelo.
Before Congress adjourned for the Christmas holidays, it voted to extend martial law in Mindanao for one more year. Lagman and five opposition lawmakers petitioned the Supreme Court on Jan. 4 to dec;are the third extension of martial law and the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus unconstitufional.
Saying that rebellion is a complex matter that cannot be solved overnight, Panelo said: " The continuing rebellion in Mindanao as well as the demands of public safety require the continued operation of martial law in that area -- a view shared by our lawmakers, the grounds cited therefore being met as required by the Constitution. '
In reply to criticism that no rebels have been arrested, Panelo replied; '' Then with more reason martial law in Mindanao should be maintained because it only means that the rebellion persists. That should be common sense.'
'' If a substantial number of or all the rebels have already been arrested then it signifies that the rebellion has been crushed. That is another common sense. The argument foisted by Rep. Lagman not only is faulty but is likewise intellectually challenged," added Panelo. DMS