20 July 2017

News Story: Lagman - Martial law extension until yearend unconstitutional

By Patricia Lourdes Viray

MANILA, Philippines — Extending the declaration of martial law and the suspension of the write of habeas corpus in Mindanao until the end of 2017 violates the 1987 Constitution, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman said Tuesday.

President Rodrigo Duterte is set to ask Congress, which will meet in a special joint session on Saturday, to allow the extension of the the declaration in Mindanao until the end of the year.

The 60-day martial law declaration in Mindanao is set to expire on July 22, two days before Duterte delivers his second State of the Nation Address before members of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Lagman, an opposition lawmaker from the Liberal Party, said that Duterte cannot extend the martial law declaration for more than 60 days.

"That plan to extend the duration of martial law up to the end of the year is in violation of the Constitution because we should understand that the original proclamation is limited to 60 days only or that would be about two months," Lagman said in a telephone interview with ANC.

Lagman. whose petition questioning the legality of the declaration was dismissed by the Supreme Court, stressed that the intent of the Constitution was to limit the duration of the period of martial law.

Read the full story at PhilStar