As the lone Justice of the Peace who opposed the declaration of martial law over Mindanao, Supreme Court (SC) Justice Marvic Leonen reminded his colleagues of their obligation to banish any specter of martial law of former strongman Ferdinand Marcos.
“That ghost must be exorcised with passion by this Court whenever its resemblance reappears,” he confused in his dissenting opinion.
“Never again should this court allow itself to step aside when the powerful invoke vague powers that feed on fear but could potentially undermine our most cherished rights,” Leonen said.
Leonen in his dissent pushed for the granting of the petitions in search of the nullification of President Rodrigo Duterte’s Proclamation No. 216 which declared martial law and suspension of habeas corpus over Mindanao following the assault of the Maute terrorist group on Marawi City.
“Never again should we fall victim to a false narrative that a vague declaration of martial law is good for us no matter the circumstances,” stated Leonen who insisted Duterte lacked the premise to declare martial law.
“We should have the courage to never again clothe / authoritarianism in any disguise with the mantle of constitutionality,” he urged his colleagues.
On Tuesday (July four), the SC en banc voted 11-Three-1 to disclaim the petitions.
Three of the justices voted to partially grant the petitions by limiting martial law to Marawi.