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SC allays fears over martial law

By: Rey G. Panaligan and Ben R. Rosario

The Supreme Court has allayed the fears, prejudices, and apprehensions of the public over the declaration of martial law in Mindanao in which President Duterte has sufficient factual basis to impose as “there is probable cause to believe that rebellion exists and that public safety requires it.”

In its 82-page decision released the other night, the SC said the “importance of martial law in the context of our society should outweigh one’s prejudices and apprehensions against it.”

“The significance of martial law should not be undermined by unjustified fears and past experience. After all, martial law is critical and crucial to the promotion of public safety, the preservation of the nation’s sovereignty, and ultimately, the survival of our country,” the SC said in a decision written by Justice Mariano C. del Castillo and concurred in by 10 other justices.

It said that martial law “is vital for the protection of the country not only against internal enemies but also against those enemies lurking from beyond our shores, and as such, martial law should not be cast aside, or its scope and potency limited by unsubstantiated assumptions.”

Meanwhile, a day after deciding not to appeal, Albay Rep. Edcel C. Lagman and other opposition congressmen have changed their minds and decided to challenge the SC ruling that upheld the martial law declaration in Mindanao.

Lagman, leader of the so-called Magnificent Seven in the House, said they are convinced that “serious errors” in judgment were committed by the SC in the majority ruling.

“After perusing the ponencia or the majority decision of the Supreme Court upholding the declaration of martial law in the whole of Mindanao, the opposition congressmen-petitioners have resolved to contest the ruling in a motion for reconsideration,” said Lagman.