SC sets oral arguments on petition vs Martial law

THE Supreme Court (SC) is set to hear on June 13, 14 and 15 the oral arguments on the petition filed by a group of opposition lawmakers who challenged President Rodrigo Duterte's martial law declaration in Mindanao.

The 1987 Constitution gave the high tribunal the power to revoke a martial law proclamation within 30 days after a petition is filed.

According to SC spokesperson Theodore Te, the high court has directed the Office of the Solicitor General, on behalf of respondents Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Defense Secretary and Martial law administrator Delfin Lorenzana and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Eduardo Año, to comment on the petition not later than June 12.

All parties in the case are also required to submit their respective memoranda until June 19, 2 p.m.

The SC dropped as petitioners lawmakers Raul Daza and Edgar Erice "for their failure to sign the verification and certification of non-Forum shopping."

Earlier reports said Daza was out of the country while Erice "could not make it."

They were earlier included as petitioners, aside from lawmakers Edcel Lagman, Tomasito Villarin, Gary Alejano, Emmanuel Billones and Teddy Brawner Baguilat, Jr.

The group on Monday asked the SC to nullify Duterte's martial law proclamation for "lack of factual basis."

In their petition, the lawmakers said that "there was no ongoing rebellion or invasion" requiring the proclamation of martial law in Mindanao.

They also called the President's report to the Congress detailing the grounds for the imposition of martial law as "inaccurate, false and hyperbolic."

The Supreme Court has yet to act on another petition seeking to compel the congress to convene in a joint session to review martial law.

It was filed earlier in the day by a group of lawyers, including Senator Leila de Lima and former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay. (SunStar Philippines)

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