THE country's top security officials are prepared to defend President Rodrigo Duterte's proclamation of martial law in Mindanao before the Supreme Court (SC), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson Restituto Padilla Jr. said Wednesday.
Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno on Wednesday ordered Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and AFP Chief-of-Staff General Eduardo Año, administrator and implementor of martial law, respectively, to participate in the ongoing oral arguments on the Mindanao martial law.
Padilla was confident that the two security officials can answer the magistrates' interpellations regarding Duterte's Proclamation 216, which is being sought to be nullified by petitioners.
The military official said the current administration is willing to cooperate with the high court as it begins the oral arguments.
"We support whatever process is currently ongoing. And if we need to be resource persons elsewhere, including the Supreme Court, we will be there. The government, I think, is all one in this that whatever is required, we will provide," Padilla said.
"The chief-of-staff (Año) himself and the Secretary of National Defense (Lorenzana) themselves will be there and talk about whatever it is the justices want to clarify," he added.
On May 23, Duterte placed Mindanao under a 60-day martial rule after members of the Maute terror group torched several public and private facilities in Marawi City, capital of Lanao del Sur province. (SunStar Philippines)