SC junks petition for joint session on martial law

THE consolidated petitions that urge the Supreme Court (SC) to order the Congress to convene a joint session and discuss martial law in Mindanao have been junked, SC spokesperson Theodore Te said Tuesday.

Te said the Congress did not abuse its discretion when it decided not to review President Rodrigo Duterte's Proclamation 216 that has placed the entire Mindanao under the martial law over terroristic attacks in Marawi City as the Constitution "imposes no such duty on Congress to convene."

Under the Constitution, the Congress shall only convene if it wants to revoke or extend the 60-day martial law, the SC said.

The Court unanimously voted to dismiss the petitions on the ground that the legislative body did not abuse its power, but Te said Associate Justices Marvic Leonen and Benjamin Caguioa issued separate concurring opinions, also dismissing the petitions but on a different basis.

Asked by reporters, Te said he could not speak for the justices, but stressed that the magistrates could have decided to junk the petitions because the issue has been rendered moot and academic after the lapse of the 60-day period.

Last Saturday, July 22, both chambers of the Congress convene jointly and decided to extend the martial law until the end of December 2017.

The petitions were filed separately by a group led by detained Senator Leila de Lima and former Senator Wigberto TaƱada. (SunStar Philippines)

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