By Rey G. Panaligan
Former Commission on Human Rights chairperson Loretta Ann Rosales asked the Supreme Court yesterday to declare unconstitutional the extension of martial law in Mindanao until Dec. 31, 2018.
Rosales told the SC that mere threats of violence does not justify the declaration of martial law because the Constitution provides that the imposition of martial law and the suspension of the Writ of Habeas Corpus can be done only in case of invasion, rebellion, or when the public safety requires it.
Her petition, filed through former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay, is the third case elevated to the SC against the extension that was approved by Congress in a 240-27 vote last Dec. 13.
The SC had set oral arguments starting Jan. 16 on the first two petitions filed by the group of Rep. Edcel Lagman and a group of party-list members of Congress through the National Union of People’s Lawyers.
Earlier, Solicitor General Jose Calida – in behalf of government agencies named as respondents – asked the SC to dismiss the petition filed by Lagman’s group not only on a technicality but also on substantial legal grounds.