By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) on Friday said it will defend President Duterte’s declaration of martial law in Mindanao at the Supreme Court (SC) in the event that someone files a petition.
This came after the Philippine Muslim Society expressed that martial law would not address the problem, fearing the declaration might encourage more young people to join the terrorist groups.
According to Solicitor General (SolGen) Jose Calida, the group is free to file a petition at the Supreme Court as the 1987 Philippine Constitution allows and gives everyone the right to do so.
“However, the Office of the Solicitor General will be defending the Republic of the Philippines and the President when this matter goes out to the Supreme Court,” Calida said during a press briefing in Davao City Friday.
President Duterte has signed Proclamation No. 216 in Moscow, Russia on May 23 declaring martial law and suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in the entire island of Mindanao due to ongoing insurgency clash of the government forces and the Maute terrorist group in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur.
President Duterte has signed the required report on the declaration of martial law and was submitted to the Congress during a special cabinet meeting at the Presidential Guest House in Panacan, Davao City Thursday night.
The report was accepted by Senate President Koko Pimentel and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.
“Conformably with the requirements of the Constitution, the report was given within the time frame,” Calida said. Under the Constitution, the President should submit a report to Congress, either in person or in writing, with 48 hours since the declaration.
Without specifying, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella, during the same press briefing, said the report details the security and implementation of martial law.
Calida, despite not seeing the actual report, said the OSG is now laying down the basis why martial law was declared.
“The report contains detailed facts, substantial facts to buttress the decision of the President to declare martial law,” he said.
“This is not knee-jerk response of the President. Because as you know very well this has been going on for quite some time,” he added.
“It just so happened that there was this explosive situation in Marawi City because there were already antecedents prior to that,” he said.
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