MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court on Tuesday, February 19, voted to uphold the constitutionality of the third extension of martial law in Mindanao.
The en banc voted 9-4 to dismiss 4 petitions that questioned the third extension, Supreme Court Spokesperson Brian Keith Hosaka said on Tuesday.
Those who voted to dismiss the petitions to approve the third extension are:
- Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin
- Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta
- Associate Justice Mariano del Castillo
- Associate Justice Estela Perlas-Bernabe
- Associate Justice Andres Reyes Jr
- Associate Justice Alexander Gesmundo
- Associate Justice Jose Reyes Jr
- Associate Justice Ramon Paul Hernando
- Associate Justice Rosmari Carandang
The dissenters, or those who voted to stop the 3rd extension, are:
- Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio
- Associate Justice Marvic Leonen
- Associate Justice Francis Jardeleza
- Associate Justice Benjamin Caguioa
This means that the new appointees of President Rodrigo Duterte – Jose Reyes, Hernando, and Carandang – considered the swing votes for this round of petitions, favored Duterte.
Hosaka said Carandang will be the ponente of this new decision.
The High Court dismissed a total of 4 petitions filed by the groups of Albay 1st District Representative Edcel Lagman, Bayan Muna Representative Carlos Zarate, constitutionalist Christian Monsod, and Lumad students and teachers represented by huamn rights lawyer and senatorial candidate Chel Diokno.
Hosaka did not mention on Tuesday which legal issues were ultimately ruled upon.
The SC has approved President Rodrigo Duterte’s martial law in Mindanao thrice, each time giving the President almost absolute discretion to proclaim military rule.
On the issue of extensions, the Court ha already once declared that “the Constitution is silent on how many times Congress may extend a proclamation of martial law or the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus.” – Rappler.com