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Drilon chides Panelo

Senate President Pro-Tempore Franklin M. Drilon yesterday chided Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo for claiming that the magnitude of drug cases may warrant the declaration of Martial Law.

Panelo had said that the drug menace can make Martial Law valid reason for the President. “The magnitude of the drug problem that has risen to a crisis proportion may require the application of the provision of the Constitution when it says that the President can declare Martial Law when the public safety requires it,” Panelo said.

But Drilon shot down that possibility, saying that there are only two grounds for the declaration of Martial Law:

Invasion or rebellion.

“Even a freshman law student can easily debunk Atty. Salvador Panelo’s statement as having no legal basis. I do not know which Constitution he has learned in law school but our present Constitution has only provided two grounds for the declaration of Martial Law – invasion or rebellion. Drug menace is definitely not one of them,” Drilon said.

Meanwhile, despite opposition from colleagues, Sen. Leila M. de Lima said the Senate’s inquiry into the series of vigilante killings and summary executions would push through on the fourth week of August.

Emerging after a closed-door meeting with members of her committee, De Lima, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights, said they had agreed to conduct the hearings on August 22 and 23. (Hannah L. Torregoza)