SOLICITOR General Jose Calida has asked the Supreme Court (SC) to uphold President Rodrigo Duterte's martial law proclamation in Mindanao.
In his comment to the consolidated petitions seeking to annul the martial law, Calida said the President did not gravely abuse his discretion when he issued the order last May 23.
Last week, three groups have filed a petition urging the Court to revoke the order of the President for "lack of factual basis."
Petitioners include opposition lawmakers led by Albay Representative Edcel Lagman; a group of Mindanoan leaders and human rights activists represented by the National Union of People's Lawyers; and four Marawi residents.
Calida in his comment argued that the President's order has factual basis contrary to petitioners' claim.
"There is nothing arbitrary in the President's reliance on intelligence reports from the AFP, which as official act of government, carry with them the presumption of regularity," the petition stated.
"The lack of recommendation from the Defense Secretary does not affect the validity of the proclamation; neither does it automatically negate the sufficiency of the factual basis for its proclamation," it added.
Petitioners' argued that Duterte's proclamation 216 must be revoked as the President acted on his own, without consulting the military or his cabinet members.
Calida also refuted the claims of petitioners that there was no existing rebellion in Marawi.
He said martial law had stopped the local terrorist groups' plan to remove Mindanao from the Philippine's allegiance.
"Rebellions are not fought overnight. Being a crime of masses and multitudes who adhere to a singular political motive, successfully overthrowing an existing government requires accumulation of resources and ideological conditioning," it said.
"Both of which demand a huge amount of time and meticulous planning. Put in its proper context, the siege in Marawi on 23 May 2017 is a pivotal event in a grander scheme to dismember Mindanao from the rest of the Philippine territory and pledge the allegiance to Islamic State of Iraq and Syria," the comment read.
The SC will conduct a three day oral arguments starting Tuesday on the consolidated petitions against martial law.
Respondents in the petition are Duterte, Executive Secretary Executive Salvador Medialdea, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Local Government Undersecretary Catalino Cuy, Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief-of-Staff Lt. General Eduardo Año, Philippine National Police Director-General Ronald Dela Rosa, and National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. (SunStar Philippines)