Lagman asserts no sufficient basis for Mindanao martial law


Posted at Jul 05 2017 08:43 PM | Updated as of Jul 05 2017 10:10 PM

But no more 'rematch' for lawmaker at SC given majority ruling

MANILA- Opposition lawmaker Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman on Wednesday asserted that President Rodrigo Duterte's declaration of martial law in Mindanao lacked basis.

This even as the Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the President’s declaration of martial law and suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao, denying several petitions against the act, including Lagman's.

Lagman, who argued against the declaration before the High Court, said facts that the president cited in justifying martial rule before Congress were not sufficient to support his act.

“We submitted that the determination of the facts should be limited to principal documents, and if you analyze the facts there, it would fail to satisfy the sufficiency of the factual basis,” Lagman told ANC.

“Because, in the first place, the facts mentioned were about prior events which have already been resolved, so the facts enumerated turned out to be false or misleading.”

Lagman said petitioners against martial law enumerated each fact in Proclamation No. 216 and the president’s report to Congress, and determined which ones were relevant, misleading, inaccurate, or false.

“A totality of the appreciation of the factual setting reported by the President in Proclamation No. 216 and his report would show that the quantum of proof necessary to establish sufficiency of factual basis was not there,” he said.

Lagman maintained that there was no actual rebellion inside and outside of Marawi City.

“There [were] acts of terrorism, acts of lawlessness, but definitely not rebellion because there is no showing [of] the culpable cause of rebellion,” he said.

The Lagman petition alleged that the attack on Marawi was “actually an armed resistance” and not a rebellion because it was an attempt to prevent the government from arresting Abu Sayyaf Group leader Isnilon Hapilon.

Government's move to arrest Hapilon had sparked firefights in Marawi City on May 23, prompting Duterte to declare martial law over Mindanao on the same day.

Following the Supreme Court decision, Lagman said opposition lawmakers are “prepared to respect the majority decision of a divided Supreme Court, but with a strong reservation that the majority could be in error.”

He added that he will not file a motion for reconsideration because it “is an exercise in futility.”

“It would be difficult to have a rematch with 11 justices who may not change their stance in favor of the president,” he said.