Senior Associate Justice expects more petitions against martial law

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 26) — The Supreme Court may receive a number of petitions that will challenge the martial law proclamation, a senior associate justice said.

"I expect a lot of petitions to be filed before the Supreme Court," Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said in an episode of CNN Philippines' The Source airing on Monday.

"I don't wanna comment on that yet because I don't want the other parties to force my inhibition," he added. "I want to participate, so I cannot comment."

Duterte declared martial rule in Mindanao following a clash between the Islamic State-inspired Maute Group and government forces on Tuesday. He added he may expand martial law to the Visayas and Luzon if terrorism spreads to other areas.

Related: Possible nationwide martial law; could last longer — Duterte

The Constitution limits martial rule to 60 days and only in cases of invasion, rebellion, or when public safety requires it. Duterte personally submitted a report to Senate President Aquilino Pimentell III and Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez in Davao City late Thursday, complying with the 48-hour constitutional requirement since the proclamation was issued. Congress in joint session may revoke or extend the proclamation.

Challenges to martial rule

While some officials welcomed the proclamation of martial law in Mindanao, others raised alarm and concern over the scope and speed of the declaration.

Critics include 1986 Constitutional Commission member Christian Monsod.

"The military has been saying... that they have full control. The civil authorities are functioning, the military is inside and surrounding the area," said Monsod. "Is there really the kind of rebellion that calls for the declaration of martial law?" he said in an interview with CNN Philippines on Thursday.

The Liberal Party also on the same day said it was ready to oppose a "blanket martial law" that may have no basis.

Related: LP to oppose if Duterte declares 'baseless' nationwide martial law

Philippine Muslim Society President Jamal Latiph on Wednesday bared plans to challenge the proclamation before the Supreme Court.

Exclusive: Muslim lawyers to challenge martial law declaration before Supreme Court

"We feel there is no basis, we feel he must first do the traditional approach rather than doing martial law," said Latiph. "That is the last resort....Talk to the LGU to have a negotiation, to have a backdoor channeling in order for them to peacefully leave Marawi City."

A resident of Marawi who admits he is a Duterte supporter, argued that Muslims have a bad recall of martial law after suffering abuses under the regime of former President Ferdinand Marcos.

 

A group of seven lawmakers from the Makabayan bloc also wants to stop the implementation of martial law in Mindanao, saying their allied organizations are also planning to question Proclamation 216 before the Supreme Court.

ACT Party-list Representative Antonio Tinio recalled that former President Benigno Aquino III faced a similar problem during the Zamboanga Siege in September 2013, but martial law was not declared.

"Parang mas malala pa nga iyong situation noon pero hindi naman nagdeklara ang mga nakaraang administrasyon ng martial law para maaddress ang ganitong sitwasyon," said Tinio.

[Translation: The situation before seemed to worse, but the previous administration did not declare martial law to address the situation.]

Anakpawis Representative Ariel Casilao pointed out that Armed Forces chief Gen. Eduardo Ano, the implementer of martial law, previously faced charges of human rights violations.

Casilao added that granting such power to the military would "inevitably result to wanton abuses of human rights."

The police and military are drafting guidelines for the implementation of martial law.

Related: PNP crafts policy guidelines for martial law in Mindanao

Support for martial law

On the other hand, Kabayan Party-list Representative Harry Roque, believes questioning martial law before the Supreme Court will not prosper.

"It will not stand in court given that there [is] shooting in the streets [of] Marawi," said Roque.

Some lawmakers, including House Majority Leader Rodolfo Farinas, believes holding a joint congressional session to tackle martial law -- as referred to in the Constitution -- is only necessary if there are plans to revoke it.

Related: No need for Congress to approve martial law — Rep. Farinas

Sen. Cynthia Villar also said majority of the Senate will likely support the proclamation.

Related: Congress likely to back martial law in Mindanao — senator

CNN Philippines Correspondent Joyce Ilas contributed to this report.