Filipino lawmakers appeal to High Court for ending martial law

June 5, 2017 10:30 pm

This combination picture shows Philippines lawmaker Edcel Lagman (L) and President Rodrigo Duterte.

Philippine opposition lawmakers have asked the Supreme Court to reject President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of martial law in the country’s south, calling the move as unlawful and “flawed.”
Six House lawmakers signed a petition and submitted it to the Supreme Court on Monday, calling on the tribunal to review and nullify Duterte’s order.
Rep. Edcel Lagman, who initiated the petition, said the situation in the militancy-riddled south does not provide any legal basis to declare martial law and suspend of the writ of habeas corpus.
The petitioners said most of the lawmakers allied with Duterte had ignored their constitutional duty by refusing to convene a joint session of Congress to vote whether or not to revoke the martial law proclamation.
Duterte declared martial law in the Daesh-infested southern third of the country on May 23 after local militants affiliated with Daesh laid siege to Marawi City.
According to official reports, the militants in Marawi aimed to establish an autonomous region in that part of the country.
The militants took over a hospital, set up several checkpoints in the city, burned down certain government and private facilities, and raised the flag of Daesh in several areas, the proclamation of martial law said.
The petitioner lawmakers said the claims that militants took over a hospital and that a local police chief had been decapitated by the militants were both untrue.
In addition, the military admitted the conflict in Marawi was precipitated by troops’ operation to neutralize or capture Isnilon Hapilon, a high-profile militant commander, they said.

Government troops aboard their truck arrive to reinforce their colleagues in Marawi, on the southern island of Mindanao on June 4, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

“The president’s proclamation of martial law in Mindanao has no sufficient factual basis as it is feebly based on mostly contrived and/or inaccurate facts, self-serving speculations, enumeration of distant occurrences and mere conclusions of fact and law on the purported existence of ‘rebellion or invasion,’” the lawmakers said in the petition lodged with the Supreme Court.
The protesting lawmakers said the martial law is “flawed” because Duterte “acted alone without the benefit of a recommendation from Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana or from any ranking officer of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.”
Lorenzana admitted during congressional briefings that he had not recommended martial law.
The Supreme Court has 30 days to rule on the petition.
Skip to toolbar
shared on