During the oral justification last June 13, the petitioners presented their arguments to nullify the declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao.
The lawyers of the petitioners stated that what Maute and other extremist groups did in Marawi was considered terrorism but it does not mean to be treated as rebellion or invasion, which the 1987 Constitution requires for the declaration of Martial Law.
Lagman said this, "Acts of terrorism are not necessarily equivalent to actual rebellion and the consequent requirement of securing public safety." He also said that the reasons of Duterte in declaring martial law "must be factually correct" and "may not be arbitrary or capricious in appreciation of facts."
Lagman also claims the absence of culpable purpose in Marawi, which is, 'removing the Philippines or a part thereof from allegiance to the Republic or preventing the President or Legislature from exercising their powers and prerogatives,' and in addition, Lagman said that Duterte's factual assertions to justify martial law was inaccurate or hyperbolic.
However, Justice Mariano del Castillo isn't swayed by Lagman's statement. Justice del Castillo said, "The military casualty count as of last Sunday is already 58 soldiers, Congressman. Dead soldiers of ours. And there are 25,000 evacuees now in Iligan City. So for you the situation is still not that serious for Martial Law to … I mean, Martial Law will only be with us for 60 days, assuming that he (Duterte) won't lift the proclamation earlier. With all the safeguards, I don't know why you are so worried."
Lagman reacted to Justice del Castillo statement and said that the killings of civilians and children were the aftermath of the ill-conceived declaration of Martial Law.
"Your honor, all of these subsequent killings, including civilians and children, we commiserate with the government with respect to the deaths of many soldiers. But these are all circumstances after the fact of the declaration of Martial Law. They are the aftermath of an ill-conceived declaration," Lagman said.
When our soldiers in Marawi fought against the notorious terrorists groups, several casualties from the military and civilians, the public enterprises burnt and devastated by the rebels, 25,000 displaced and distressed residents, and constant crossfire between the troops and rebels yet these incredulous lawyers and parties find it hard to believe that there is a need for Martial Law in Mindanao. Are they waiting for these rebels to torch the whole island of Mindanao, eh?