- Anti-martial law solon to file petition questioning extension before SC
- He said Congress wrong to extend martial to 150 days, should be 60 days max only
- He also said they will also question the factual basis, scope and coverage of extension
MANILA, Philippines – Staunch anti-martial law solon Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman vowed to question Congress’ approval of President Rodrigo Duterte’s request to extend martial law in Mindanao for another five months before the Supreme Court; saying it runs contrary to the safeguards placed by the Constitution.
“The discretion of Congress to fix the period of the extension is not absolute. These safeguards will be eroded by an inordinately long extension,” he told Manila Times.
According to Lagman, the petition which he will file next week will seek to limit the imposition of any martial law after the original 60-day period to just 60 days also.
“We will question it before the Supreme Court as soon as possible. Towards the end of the week, the petition can be filed. The SC can limit the duration of the extension because under the Constitution, the original declaration of martial law is only for a limited period of 60 days,” he said. “It stands to reason that any extension should not exceed the original period of 60 days.”
Aside from the extension, Lagman said he will also question the sufficiency of the factual basis for the extension, as well as its scope and coverage.
One of the 18 solons who had voted against the extension, Lagman had stood by his claim that there’s no actual rebellion in Marawi — only lawless violence committed by a terrorist group.
“What is happening in Marawi City is lawless violence amounting to terrorism, but not actual rebellion. The President and his subalterns failed to sufficiently show the element of culpable political purpose of the terrorist groups,” he said in his dissenting speech during Congress’ joint session on Saturday.