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 Diosdado Peralta 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 nature of an “appropriate proceeding”, Justice Peralta’s position is that it should a certiorari proceeding under Rule 65. The role of the Court is to determine whether the President acted with grave abuse of discretion, i.e., whether he acted arbitrarily but not whether he acted wrongly.
2. Justice Peralta opined that the elements of rebellion under Article 134 had been established to be present. In his opinion, the Marawi siege was not the result of government counter-measures but the government’s pursuit of terrorists and was a strategic and well-coordinated attack to overthrow the present government and establish a wilayah in Mindanao.
3. He does not agree on limiting the territorial scope of the proclamation and the suspension because this verges on the absurd. His position is that when there is already a declaration of martial law, there is no need for actual rebellion to occur in every single town or city of Marawi. Rebellion, as a felony, has no premeditated bounds and the rebellion perpetuated by the ISIS-linked rebel groups should not be limited to the acts committed in Marawi City as the acts or crimes done in furtherance of such rebellion even in places outside of Marawi should be considered as part of the rebellion itself.
Below, full text of his opinion: