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Calida ask SC to let Duterte do his thing: PH survival at stake

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Solicitor General Solicitor Jose Calida has asked the Supreme Court (SC) to allow President Rodrigo Duterte to protect the people with his issuance of Proclamation No. 216 which declared martial law and suspended habeas corpus over Mindanao.

“As the survival of the State hangs in the balance, Respondents respectfully ask this Honorable Court to sustain the constitutionality of Proclamation No. 216, and allow the President to perform his constitutional mandate of protecting the people,” read his memorandum submitted before SC on Monday (June 19).

Calida asked the high tribunal to turn down the three petitions which sought the nullification of Proclamation No. 216 which was issued following the attack of the Maute terrorist group on Marawi City on May 23.

Calida pointed out “in the issuance of Proclamation No. 216, no grave abuse of discretion can be ascribed to President Duterte.”

“Far from it, there is more than sufficient factual basis for proclaiming martial law and suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in the whole of Mindanao,” said the Solicitor General.

He cited “the military had already received reports as early as November 2014 of a brewing attempt to remove Mindanao from the territory of the Philippines, and eventually pledge its allegiance to a proto-state known worldwide as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or ISIS.”

“This was later confirmed by military intelligence in 2016 with the appointment of an emir or a governor of the Islamic State in the Philippines, with Marawi City as the capital thereof,” he said.