SC won't consolidate 3 petitions vs Mindanao martial law

THE Supreme Court (SC) will not consolidate all three petitions filed in relation to President Rodrigo Duterte's martial law declaration in Mindanao, a spokesperson said Thursday.

Three petitions have been filed with the SC challenging Duterte's Proclamation 216 that has placed Mindanao under martial law since May 23.

The first petition, filed by the group of independent lawmakers led by Albay Representative Edcel Lagman, seeks to annul the President's declaration while the last two petitions filed respectively by a group led by Senator Leila De Lima and former Senator Wigberto Tañada urged the high court to compel the House of Representatives and the Senate to convene in a joint session and tackle martial law.

The SC said the three could not be consolidated as the petition filed by the opposition lawmakers, which has already been set for oral arguments next week, differs from the last two petitions.

"They differ from the petition challenging the factual basis/es for Martial Law in Mindanao and will thus not be consolidated with the Martial Law petition," SC spokesperson Theodore Te said.

Te clarified that it will not be covered by the Court's resolution ordering the conduct of oral arguments for the petition of Lagman's group.

He, however, said that the last two petitions are most likely to be consolidated.

In the petition filed by Lagman and co-lawmakers Tomasito Villarin, Gary Alejano, Emmanuel Billones, Teddy Brawner Baguilat, Jr. Raul Daza and Edgar Erice, they urged the SC to nullify the proclamation of the President for lack of factual basis.

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

The SC in its resolution issued last Tuesday directed Solicitor General Jose Calida on behalf of respondents–Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Defense Secretary and martial law administrator Delfin Lorenzana and Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Eduardo Año–to comment on the petition not later than June 12. (SunStar Philippines)

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