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GMA ‘very happy’ with SC ruling upholding 3rd martial law extension

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A “very happy” House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo expressed delight over the decision of the Supreme Court upholding the right of Congress to extend the imposition of martial law in Mindanao until the end of 2019.

“We’re very happy because we voted to extend it,” the former President told reporters when asked to react to the high court’s ruling made public on Tuesday.

Voting 9-4, the Supreme Court junked four petitions challenging the third extension of martial law in Mindanao due to issues of constitutionality.

The Senate and the House of Representatives authorized the request of President Rodrigo Duterte to extend martial law in Mindanao to quell persisting threats in the region.

In one of the petitions, martial law opponents contended that “since rebellion does not exist or persist in Mindanao, the concurrent element of public safety requirement does not obtain.”

Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman argued that Proclamation No. 216 could no longer be extended “because said proclamation has been rendered functus officio when the Marawi siege was crushed and the prime leaders of the Maute and Abu Sayyaf groups were killed.”

This led to President Rodrigo Duterte’s announcement on October 17, 2017 that Marawi has been liberated from terrorists and their influence.

“An inordinate prolongation of martial law and suspension of the writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao violates the clear constitutional intent for a limited duration of martial law and suspension of the writ or extension thereof,” Lagman said.

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