MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court has once again upheld the third extension of martial law in Mindanao, with 9-4 votes.
Those who voted in favor of the extension until December 31 were Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin, and Justices Diosdado Peralta, Mariano Del Castillo, Estella Perlas Bernabe, Andres Reyes Jr., Alexander Gesmundo, Jose Reyes Jr., Ramon Paul Hernando, and Rosmari Carandang.
Those who dissented were Justices Antonio Carpio, Marvic Leonen, Francis Jardeleza, and Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa.
SC Spokesperson, Atty. Brian Keith F. Hosaka, said, “the Supreme Court ruled to uphold the constitutionality of the extension of the declaration of martial law and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of Habeas Corpus in Mindanao until December 31, 2019.”
Along with the Supreme Court decision was the dismissal of four petitions against the said extension of martial Law in Mindanao.
One of the petitioners, former Bayan Muna Partylist Representative Neri Colmenares, said the SC decision opens the path for the move to place the entire country under martial law even without any threat on public security.
He reiterated that for a country to be placed under martial law, there must be invasion or rebellion.
President Rodrigo Duterte first placed the whole of Mindanao under martial law in May 2017 following the attack of the Maute-ISIS group in Marawi City.
It was extended for another year even before the 60-day period provided for by the Constitution elapsed. — Maris Federez (with reports from Mai Bermudez)