Thursday 13 December, 2018
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Christian Monsod: Mere threat of rebellion, invasion not enough

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Constitutionalist and former poll chairman Christian Monsod on Tuesday disclosed that mere threat of rebellion and invasion are not enough grounds to justify the declaration of martial law.

This was said by Monsod during oral arguments at the Supreme Court on consolidated petitions challenging the legality of the one-year extension of martial law in Mindanao.

“Martial law is supposed to be for exceptional case. We made the window smaller for declaration of marital law. We took away imminent danger, insurrection and the likes,” Monsod, one of the framers of the Constitution and member of the 1986 constitutional commission, said.

Furthermore, Monsod courteously reminded the high court of its duty to review the factual basis of the extension of martial law, stressing that there is no existing rebellion or invasion to justify the same.

“You asked your honor why are we relying more on 15 justices rather than 292 Congressmen and 24 Senators [because] that is the essence of the separation of powers and the system of checks and balances in our Constitution and there is a vetting process by which the 15 justices are assumed to have the wisdom, experience and the fortitude to stand up to the other powers of government,” Monsod said during interpellation.

“I was taught in law school that the Executive is the sword, the legislative is the purse and the judiciary is the conscience of the nation. That is why we are here today,” Monsod added.

Monsod is one of the four petitioners in the consolidated petitions, the other three were former Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Chairperson Loretta Ann Rosales, a group of congressmen led by Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel Lagman and another group led by Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate and Anakpawis Representative Ariel Casilao.

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