SC sets debates on third Mindanao martial law extension


Posted at Jan 08 2019 01:44 PM

MANILA - The Supreme Court (SC) has set oral arguments on the petition against the third martial law extension in Mindanao this month.

In an announcement Tuesday, the high court said the oral arguments would be held on the afternoon of January 22 and 23, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Congress in December had granted for the third time President Rodrigo Duterte's request to extend martial law in the restive south until the end of 2019 to quell terror groups that "continue to defy the government."

Several opposition lawmakers questioned this new martial law extension, saying the administration had failed to prove that "actual rebellion" exists in the south.

The existence of an actual rebellion is among conditions the constitution requires for the declaration of martial law.

Duterte first declared martial law in Mindanao when firefights erupted between state troops and Islamic State-inspired terrorists in Marawi City in May 2017.

The original martial law declaration was supposed to last only for 60 days, as indicated in the Constitution, but Congress voted to extend it until the end of 2017 to help troops end the siege.

In late 2017, President Duterte requested for another extension until the end of 2018, saying the militants were regrouping despite the end of clashes.

--report from Dexter Ganibe, ABS-CBN News