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The lawmakers say congressional leaders and allies of President Rodrigo Duterte failed to follow through on their constitutional duty after refusing to hold a joint session of Congress to vote on whether to revoke martial law.

"Nowhere in the Constitution does it state that the President's declaration of martial law needs the recommendation or concurrence of the Defense Secretary, or any Cabinet official", Mr. Calida added.

Named respondents were Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea; Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, martial law administrator, and AFP chief Gen. Eduardo Año, martial law implementor.

Meanwhile, the petitioners contended that there is no sufficient factual anchorage for Proclamation 216 because there is no revolution or invasion where the public safety requires the declaration of martial law and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in Marawi City or elsewhere in Mindanao. "Mere conclusions of the fact and law on the pretended existence of rebellion and or invasion will not serve as sufficient basis since errant conclusions have no legal pedigree", the petitioners said. "They do not know what is happening on the ground", Duterte said then.

Aguirre said that once Congress declares the imposition of martial law for 60 days in Mindanao is valid, the SC "is nearly powerless" to override the Congress and the President.

Such failure prompted them to elevate the issue to the SC, which under the Constitution has the power to review the "sufficiency of the factual basis" of the declaration of martial and the suspension of the privilege of habeas corpus, the petitioners said.

Mr. Duterte on late night of May 23 placed the entire main island of Mindanao and its island groups under martial law as security forces clashed with members of the Maute terrorist group in Marawi City, provincial capital of Lanao del Sur.

"No less than the military establishment has admitted that the current armed conflict in Marawi City was government initiated and the armed confrontation was precipitated by the military operation to neutralize or capture Isnilon Hapilon, a high-profile terrorist commander, which was resisted by the Maute Group of terrorists", the group added.

With overwhelming "ayes", The House of Representatives last Wednesday adopted a resolution expressing its "full support" to President Duterte in his declaration of martial law in Mindanao. The group took over a hospital and established checkpoints throughout the city.

Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara Jr. said he expected the filing but the case might be rendered moot and academic as the President could lift the martial law anytime soon. "This is a symptom of psychosis since they are detached from reality", he noted.

-Officials had said that foreign nationals were among the militants in Marawi, but the list of countries now includes Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Yemen, India and Chechnya.

"Waste basket lang yun, kung bakit nagdesisyon na separately ang House at tsaka ang Senate that they are backing the declaration of martial law as sufficient in compliance sa law at tsaka sa facts".

"That's their right and prerogative but it seems quite obvious, based on media reports alone, that there is an ongoing rebellion in Marawi", Escudero said in a phone interview.

Five days after declaring martial law, Duterte vowed to ignore the Supreme Court and only listen to the military and police.

A presidential spokesman said 120 militants have died in the battle, along with 38 government forces.


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