MANILA - The Supreme Court (SC) has moved to next week the oral arguments on the petitions questioning the constitutionality of the third extension of martial law in Mindanao.
SC Spokesperson Jose Midas Marquez said in a text message on Monday that the oral arguments have been “moved to January 29, and if another day (is) still needed, on the 30th.”
The oral arguments on the first petition filed by the "Magnificent 7" lawmakers led by Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman were originally set on Tuesday and Wednesday, January 22 and 23.
But a second petition has since been filed by the Makabayan bloc and a third by a group of human rights lawyers led by Christian Monsod, one of the framers of the 1987 Constitution.
The Supreme Court has consolidated all 3 petitions and directed all parties asked to submit memoranda by Feb. 1.
A source from the SC said the Office of the Solicitor General will be asked to present the government’s position first since it bears the burden of proving the sufficiency of the factual bases for the extension of martial law in Mindanao.
The high tribunal last week also asked Congress to file its comment on the petition.
Congress, in a joint session in December, voted 235-28-1 in favor of extending martial law in Mindanao for the third time since President Rodrigo Duterte declared one in May 2017 following clashes in Marawi City.