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 Francis Jardeleza was one of 11 who voted to uphold it completely.
Here’s how the SC Public Information Office summarized his opinion:
1. On the nature of the proceeding, Justice Jardeleza concurred with the majority that it is a proceeding sui generis; all that is required is that there is a petition sufficient in form and substance filed by any Filipino citizen that challenges the sufficiency of the factual basis of the proclamation or suspension.
2. The standard of review should be reasonableness, hewing closely to probable cause and substantial evidence. This does not require absolute truth of the facts alleged but simply that the totality of the facts and circumstances make the allegations more likely to be true.
3. On the sufficiency of the factual basis, he agreed with the ponencia that actual rebellion had been proven and that the display of the ISIS flags in Marawi shows that the groups involved are, at the very least, ISIS-inspired. The events that transpired prior to the Marawi siege provided context for the events that transpired on May 23.
4. On the territorial scope of the proclamation and the suspension, Justice Jardeleza opined that public safety required the declaration over the entire Mindanao. The rise in terroristic activities is merely a prelude to for allied terrorist groups to stage their own violent uprising in Mindanao to establish a wilayah.
5. Justice Jardeleza expressed his disagreement about receiving the evidence of the respondents in camera emphasizing that public interest would have been better served had the Court dispensed with the in camera proceedings. He suggested that any invocation of in camera privilege should be timely made at the earliest possible time and there should be no carte blanche invocation.
Below, full text of his opinion: