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 Estela Perlas-Bernabe was one of 11 who voted to uphold it completely.
Here’s how the SC Public Information Office summarized her opinion:
1. On what is an “appropriate proceeding”, Justice Perlas-Bernabe concurred with the majority that it is a sui generis proceeding.
2. On the sufficiency of the factual basis for the proclamation and suspension, she opined that rebellion is a movement involving a plurality of acts, animated by a single criminal resolution or intent. Until the movement stops, the rebellion continues. The Marawi siege is an armed public uprising whose motive is to further the ISIS’s global agenda of establishing a wilayah in Mindanao.
2. On the evidence presented by petitioners, Justice Perlas-Bernabe found that these were uncorroborated news reports, inadmissible for being hearsay.
3. On the sufficiency of the factual basis, her opinion is that without any cogent reason to hold otherwise, the Government’s account of events must be taken as true and correct. On this matter, the President considered: (a) the nature of ISIS and its previous activities and (b) the history of Mindanao, in calibrating the danger presented by ISIS. She also considered that public safety required the proclamation and suspension because of the potency of the ISIS threat which affects not only Marawi City but also all of Mindanao.
Below, full text of her opinion: