Home > gloria macapagal arroyo, maguindanao massacre > petitions filed at supreme court to nullify martial law in maguindanao

petitions filed at supreme court to nullify martial law in maguindanao

No factual basis

The petitioners all insisted that there was no factual basis for the martial law proclamation since there was no actual rebellion or invasion.

In their petition, Salonga et al. said Article VII Section 18 of the 1987 Constitution “limits the ground (to declare martial law) to rebellion and invasion” and “none of these grounds are existent.”

“Nowhere in Proclamation No. 1959 were the constitutive elements of rebellion proven or even alleged. For one, the alleged establishment of positions to resist government troops by heavily armed groups does not automatically amount to a public uprising—an essential element of the crime of rebellion,” they said.

Police matter

The petitioners insisted that the massacre was a “police matter” that has been addressed by the President’s declaration of a state of emergency.

They claimed that Ms Arroyo did not follow the “sequence of graduated powers” under the Constitution when she declared martial law and simultaneously suspended the writ of habeas corpus.

“Declaration of martial law through Proclamation No. 1959 is a classic example of recklessly resorting to a ‘strong medicine,”’ said Salonga and his fellow petitioners.

They pointed out that Ms Arroyo did not declare martial law to suppress the MILF, which reaches a far greater scope of influence than the Ampatuans.

They also said that not even former President Joseph Estrada declared martial law when his administration went on an all-out war against the MILF in 2000.

Dilangalen said mere “threats of rebellion” could not be a valid ground for the declaration of martial law and suspension of the writ of habeas corpus.

“There is absolutely no public uprising and taking up of arms against the government in the area covered by the assailed proclamation. It is, in fact, in the excluded area, said to be controlled by the MILF, that the elements of rebellion may be attendant,” he said.

read in full here: 5 petitions filed in SC to nullify martial law

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