Supreme Court Justice Marvic Leonen was the only member of the 15 justices who rejected President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of Martial law on grounds that the conflict in Mindanao does not qualify as rebellion.
Prolific journalist Rigoberto Tiglao argues that the 1987 Constitution explicitly provides that Martial Law may be declared “in case of invasion or rebellion, when the public safety requires it” (Article VII, Section 18).
The writer further explained that rebellion is defined as violent acts or open resistance to an established government.
In the case of Leonen, he believes that the Marawi siege is instigated by terrorists, not rebels, thus the act does not qualify as rebellion, however with Tiglao’s definition, it is clear that whether the act was carried out by religious extremists or communists, as long as it defies the Philippine government, it is rebellion.
Tiglao underlined how “stupid” Leonen is for trying to segregate terrorism from rebellion when the former is an offshoot of the latter.
The writer added how alarming it is that someone of Leonen’s likes will stay in the judiciary until 2032 after having been appointed by President Benigno Aquino III. Leonen is currently the youngest among the justices at the age of 54.
Leonen was also labeled a liar after citing Duterte’s General Order No. 1 that claimed that “media practitioners are therefore requested to exercise prudence in the performance of their duties” which he said implied media blackout in the context of Martial Law in reference to a Supreme Court decision in 1984(Babst vs. National Intelligence Board (NIB)).
Tiglao pointed out that that Supreme Court decision does not imply a media blackout because it was about requesting certain columnists during the Marcos Martial Law to appear before the NIB to “shed light on matters”, and the columnists, fearing imprisonment, filed the case to issue an injunction against the investigation.
Tiglao said that Leonen represents the madness of the Yellows who are hung on the Marcos era and are deluded into thinking that it will happen again with Duterte.
Source: Manila Times
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