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Calida tells SC to junk all petitions vs. martial law extension: May rebelyon pa sa Mindanao

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Solicitor General Jose Calida has asked the Supreme Court on Saturday (January 13) to junk the petitions seeking the stop the extension given to martial law over Mindanao due to its unconstitutionality.

“Although the leadership of the Mautes was decimated in Marawi, the rebellion in Mindanao persists as surviving members of the militant group have not laid down their arms,” read his petition.

“The remnants remain a formidable force to be reckoned with, especially since they have established linkage with other rebel groups,” he pointed out.

The petitioners claim there is no more factual basis to have martial law over Mindanao since the government declared it has defeated the Maute terrorist group which is the reason why President Rodrigo Duterte placed the region under martial law.

Calida reminded under the Constitution “the extension of the martial law and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is justified as long as there is rebellion and the public safety requires it.”

“These purported remnants are capable of launching retaliatory attacks against the Government to wrest control of Mindanao and continue their bid to establish a wilayah in the region.”

Meanwhile, the SC has already consolidated all four petitions seeking to stop the martial law extension and set the oral arguments this January 17.

Two of the petitions were filed last Friday (January 12) including one from former Commission on Human Rights (CHR) chairperson Etta Rosales and the group of Constitutional expert Christian Monsod and Dinagat Islands Rep. Arlen Bag-ao.

The first petition was filed last December 27 by the “Magnifecent 7” of Congress led by Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel Lagman who sought before the SC a temporary restraining order (TRO) or a writ of preliminary injunction to stop the martial law extension due to its unconstitutionality.

Then, on January 8, militant lawmakers Bayan Muna party-lisrt Representartive Carlos Zarate and Anakpawis Representative Ariel Casilao, along with other several others also filed a separate petition before the SC also seeking to declare as unconstitutional the martial law extension.

Martial law over Mindanao is supposed to end on December 31, 2017, but Congress voted in favor to grant the request of Duterte to extend it for another year.