The Supreme Court (SC) en banc will vote on July 4 on petitions seeking to junk President Rodrigo Duterte’s martial law declaration in Mindanao.
The vote will be ahead of the 30-day period within which the high court must decide on petitions against the martial law declaration, which falls on July 5; as well as the end of the maximum 60-day duration of martial law under the Constitution, which falls on July 22.
Justice Mariano del Castillo was tasked to make a thorough review and draft the decision on the case.
The July 4 en banc session will be the last for Justice Bienvenido Reyes, who retires on July 6 and turns 70 years old. Reyes is a classmate and fraternity brother of Duterte at the San Beda College of Law and the Lex Talionis Fraternity, respectively.
The first petition against Duterte’s martial law was filed by representatives from the opposition led by Edcel Lagman, Tomasito Villarin, Gary Alejano, Emmanuel Billones and Teodoro Baguilat Jr.
These lawmakers argue that contrary to the claim of Malacañang, there was no invasion or rebellion endangering public safety that could justify President Duterte’s Proclamation 216, which also suspended the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus and effectively allowed warrantless arrests.
They said the proclamation, titled “Declaring a state of martial law and suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in the whole of Mindanao,” was bereft of sufficient factual basis and should be nullified.
Another petition was filed by activists and militant lawmakers, led by ACT Teachers’ Party-list, Gabriela Women’s party-list and Kabataan party-list; and four female Marawi City residents led by Norway Mohamad.