MANILA, Philippines — (UPDATE – 12:57 p.m.) Two former chairs of the Commission on Human Rights — detained Senator Leila de Lima and Loretta Ann Rosales — have joined a petition asking the Supreme Court to order a joint session of Congress to review President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of martial law in Mindanao.
The other petitioners are former Senator Rene Saguisag, constitutional expert and former Commission on Elections chairman Christian Monsod, former head of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. Alex Padilla, and Rene Ballesteros.
The petition for mandamus, filed Tuesday by former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay, De Lima’s chief of staff Philip Sawali, and Barry Gutierrez, legal adviser of Vice President Leni Robredo, follows that filed Monday by Representatives Edcel Lagman, Teddy Baguilat, Edgar Erice, Tom Villarin, Gary Alejano, Raul Daza and Emmanuel Billiones, which asks the high court to nullify Duterte’s Proclamation No. 216 for lack of factual basis.
The new petition stressed that a “joint legislative review of martial law” is among the “built-in safeguards” in the 1987 Constitution designed to prevent a repetition of the abuses the country suffered under the Marcos dictatorship.
Respondents are Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III and Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.
“The dictatorship was not the handiwork of one man; it was the collective effort of complicit individuals and institutions,” the petition stressed.
It said the Supreme Court should also assert its right of judicial review over Proclamation No. 216 and stressed that it is an “automatic duty” of Congress to convene in joint session when martial law is declared.
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