MANILA – On Tuesday, July 4, the Supreme Court voted, with one dissent, to uphold the constitutionality of President Duterte’s 60-day martial law proclamation in Mindanao. Associate Justice Lucas Bersamin was one of 11 who voted to uphold it completely.
Here’s how the SC’s Public Information Office summarized his opinion:
1. On the “appropriate proceeding,” Justice Bersamin opines that it should not be equated to certiorari under Article VIII, Section 1 of the 1987 Constitution. It may include other proceedings not covered by Article VIII, Section 5(2)(a).
2. On the burden of proof, this should initially fall on the petitioner to show that the factual bases were insufficient. The President is entitled to the strong presumption of constitutionality of his acts as Chief Executive. Thus, the party alleging is expected to prove. Justice Bersamin also pointed out that when the President declares martial law, there should be a presumption of good faith in his favor.
3. On the sufficiency of the factual basis, he opines that the Court is now acting as a trier of facts. His opinion is that the Government has shown sufficiency of factual basis for the proclamation because local armed groups had formed linkages aimed at committing rebellion throughout Mindanao and not only in Marawi City.
Below, full text of his opinion: