Palace hails SC decision upholding martial law extension

MANILA -- MalacaAang on Tuesday welcomed the Supreme Court's (SC) ruling, which upheld anew the constitutionality of martial law extension in Mindanao.

In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said all three branches of government "forged a unified stand against the forces of rebellion and terrorism".

"We are also pleased to note that the Executive, Legislative and the Judiciary are on the same page in quelling the rebellion as well as combatting and dissipating terroristic acts destructive to lives and properties unleashed by ruthless and barbaric local and foreign armed lawless elements," he added.

Panelo also called on Filipinos to remain vigilant and prevail against anti-democratic forces.

"As we fast-track the rehabilitation of the war-torn Marawi and promote security and peace and order in Mindanao, we ask the Filipino nation not to waver in their support for our Republic's defenders, he said.

The SC on Tuesday declared as valid Malacanang's Proclamation No. 216 and the extension of martial law for the third time, as well as suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao.

Nine magistrates voted to dismiss the four petitions questioning the proclamation, while a minority four justices voted against the suits.

Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin, Associate Justices Diosdado Peralta, Mariano Del Castillo, Estela Perlas-Bernabe, Andres Reyes Jr., Alexander Gesmundo, Jose Reyes Jr., Ramon Paul Hernando and Carandang voted against the petitions.

On the other hand, Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio and Associate Justices Marvic Leonen, Francis Jardeleza and Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa were in the minority.

On Dec. 12 last year, Congress voted to re-extend martial law in the region up to the end of this year.

State lawyers cited data from the Armed Forces of the Philippines on active terrorist groups in pressing for the legality of the extension.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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