Sunday 18 February, 2018
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Have no fear! Calida assures Duterte’s martial law is different from Marcos

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Solicitor General Jose Calida on Wednesday assured the public that there’s nothing to fear of the extended martial law in Mindanao, saying it does not suspend the operation of the Constitution during its one year duration.

During oral arguments, Calida said the constitutional guarantees in the Bill of Rights remains in effect and that the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus only applies to those charged with rebellion or offenses connected with invasion.

“All the petitioners are haunted by the ghost of Martial Law past. There is no reason for them to feel that way,” Calida argued.

Calida also noted that petitioners failed to show proof disputing the security assessment made by the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police showing that rebellion still exists in Mindanao.

“Even as the petitioners have joined cause to dispute the actions of President (Rodrigo) Duterte and Congress, their reasons for disputing the sufficiency of factual basis of the extension appear to be a function of their demographic,” Calida said.

“The petitioners bear the burden of proof that the rebellion has been quelled,” he added.

As of this writing, the SC is stoll hearing the oral arguments on the four consolidated petitions filed by congressmen led by Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman et al ; another group led by Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate and Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao, et al ; former Commission on Human Rights chair Etta Rosales; and a group led by Christian Monsod, one of the framers of the Constitution.

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