IN filing their motion for reconsideration before the Supreme Court, opposition lawmakers at the House of Representatives will focus on the absence of rebellion in Mindanao and the lack of facts to argue against President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of martial law in Mindanao.
Rep. Teddy Baguilat of Ifugao is referring to the MR that the “Magnificent 7” is expected to file in the coming week.
“The main issue here is that did the President have enough information to declare martial law in the whole of Mindanao, particularly on the rebellion? That is the focal point here because the Supreme Court, in its ruling, has said that it is not important whether the President’s information is true or enough,” Baguilat said in a radio interview on Sunday.
“The Supreme Court should explain why it found enough grounds to say that there is rebellion in Mindanao and thus, the need to declare martial law,” Baguilat said.
President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law and suspended the writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao last May 23 in response to the Marawi City crisis caused by a series of attacks from the Maute group that was seeking to establish a caliphate in Mindanao.
The Constitution provides the President can only declare martial law and suspend the writ of habeas corpus in cases of rebellion, invasion or when public safety requires it. The same Constitution also mandates Congress to review the President’s martial law declaration which is only limited to 60 days.
The Constitution gives Congress the power to revoke such declaration in a joint session—a revocation that cannot be set aside by the President. But in Duterte’s case involving Marawi, both the House and the Senate decided not to convene in a joint session and instead adopted separate resolutions supporting the President’s declaration of martial law.
The President, however, can ask Congress to extend martial law if necessary.
Duterte had said that he would wait for the recommendation of the police and military before making a decision.