THE one-year extension of martial rule in the whole of Mindanao has "factual and legal" basis, Malacañang maintained on Friday, January 12.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said there is no reason to question the legality of the extension of martial law in Mindanao until the end of 2018.
He issued a statement after former Commission on Human Rights chairperson Loretta Ann Rosales joined the opposition in asking the Supreme Court to invalidate the promulgation of martial law and suspension of writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao for another year.
Roque said the executive branch respects Rosales' decision to file a petition before the high court but stressed that the one-year extension of martial law "enjoys overwhelming presumption of constitutionality."
"We welcome the filing of the suit because that is also the right of any citizen under the 1987 Constitution," he told reporters in Bukidnon.
"I actually responded to this before. The declaration of martial law, the extension for a year enjoys overwhelming presumption of constitutionality, given that both the executive and the legislative branches of government have found both legal and factual basis for the declaration of martial law," he added.
Martial law in Mindanao, which was first imposed on May 23, 2017 a few hours after fighting erupted in the Marawi City, has been extended until December 30, 2018 to ensure "total eradication" of other terror groups in the region.
Earlier Friday, Rosales said in her petition that a one-man rule in Mindanao was unnecessary, citing the "absence of an actual invastion or actual rebellion."
"Thus, in the absence of an actual invasion or actual rebellion, necessarily, there is no factual basis for extending martial law," the petition read.
Rosales filed the petition four days after human rights advocates, militant groups and opposition lawmakers also sought before the Supreme Court the nullification of martial law extension in Mindanao. (Ruth Abbey Gita/SunStar Philippines)