SC orders DND, AFP, PNP chiefs to attend martial law oral arguments
MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court (SC) en banc said on Tuesday, January 16, that it has ordered the country’s top security officials to attend the oral arguments on the martial law extension in Mindanao that began that afternoon.
“The court en banc confirmed the order directing Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines General Rey Leonardo Guerrero to be present during the oral arguments of these cases staring on January 16,” SC spokesman Theodore Te said in a news conference on Tuesday.
Te added, “The Court further directed Philippine National Police Director General Ronald dela Rosa to be present during the oral arguments of these cases starting on January 16.”
Only Guerrero was present on Tuesday.
“We thank General Guerrero for being here with us, and we hope we will be joined tomorrow by Secretary Lorenzana and General Dela Rosa,” Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno said before the oral arguments. (READ: Calida: SC has no power to review martial law extension)
Another round of oral arguments will be held on Wednesday, starting 10 am.
The Hight Court will be tackling 4 consolidated petitions against martial law in Mindanao, filed by the groups of Albay First District Representative Edcel Lagman, the National Union of Lawyers of the Philippines (NULP), former human rights chair Etta Rosales, and constitutionalist Christian Monsod.
Collectively, they argue that there is no sufficient factual basis to extend martial law in Mindanao.
As of posting, Lagman, NUPL’s Colmenares, Monsod and former solicitor general Florin Hilbay (for the Rosales group) had taken the stand. Solicitor General Jose Calida will represent the government. – Rappler.com