MANILA, Philippines – Solicitor General Jose Calida has challenged former Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares to a debate after the latter accused the government of inventing ‘facts’ to support the declaration of martial law in Mindanao.
Calida felt slighted when Colmenares questioned the basis of martial law during the oral arguments which resumed at the Supreme Court on Wednesday.
“Why don’t you call him because we were talking here and he was talking friendly to me. He should say that to my face,” an incensed Calida told reporters.
“Hey, why don’t you come here, Neri? You see? He’s a coward. I’m not an inventor of facts; I’m a lawyer,” he said
Colmenares particulary questioned the inclusion of the alleged acts of communist groups in Calida’s annex of consolidated comments, although it does not mention the rebels were target of or reasons behind the declaration of martial law.
“The inclusion of alleged acts of the NDF and NPA in their comment to justify martial law in the entire Mindanao is an afterthought invented after they found it difficult to justify martial law in the entire Mindanao,” said the former lawmaker.
“So how can the NPA be a cause and therefore a target of martial law?” he added.
When asked about Calida’s challenge, Colmenares replied: “Anytime, anywhere.”