- After President Rodrigo Duterte stated that he would declare martial law, Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo defended the president
- Senate President Pro-Tempore Franklin Drilon lectured Panelo, saying his defense of Duterte holds no legal basis
- Panelo said that Duterte could declare martial law if public safety requires it
After Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo claimed that President Rodrigo Duterte could declare martial law due to the worsening state of illegal drugs in the Philippines, Senate President Pro-Tempore Franklin Drilon schooled Panelo saying he needs to review basic legal principles.
'I think it is time that Atty Panelo review basic legal principles to avoid issuing erroneous and reckless statements,' Drilon said.
According to the Senate President, the 1987 Constitution provides two requisites to justify martial law: There must be actual invasion or rebellion, ‘when public safety requires it.’
Article 7, section 18 of the Philippine Constitution provides that martial law can only be invoked when: ‘In case of invasion or rebellion, when the public safety requires it, he may, for a period not exceeding sixty days, suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corps or place the Philippines or any part thereof under martial law.’
Drilon went on to slam Panelo, saying that even a freshman law student could easily prove that Atty. Panelo’s statements has no legal basis.
‘I think it is time that Atty. Panelo review basic legal principles to better serve the country as the President's chief legal counsel and to avoid issuing erroneous and reckless statements,’ Drilon stated.
Earlier, President Duterte received backlash after he threatened to declare martial law if the judiciary refused to cooperate with his anti-drug campaign.
In response to the critics of Dutere’s statements, Panelo said that the president had every right and duty to declare martial law when the public requires it. The presidential counsel went on to say that the drug problem has reached a point of “crisis of gigantic proportion” that threatens public safety and therefore martial law is justified to protect the public.
However, according to Drilon, the phrase “when public safety requires it” to implement martial law is invalid. Martial law is only Constitutional on the grounds of invasion or rebellion.
‘I think Panelo is rewriting the Constitution,’ the senator said. - Kami Media