Opposition lawmaker hopes SC will overturn martial law ruling

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 7) — Opposition senator Kiko Pangilinan respects the Supreme Court's decision to uphold martial law in Mindanao — but he hopes it will be overturned.

"I do not agree with the Supreme Court, but they have spoken, we will have to respect it," Pangilinan told CNN Philippines' The Source on Wednesday.

"Hopefully there is a motion for reconsideration... at least for purposes of record. Hopefully, by some miracle something happens, and some of them really change their minds," he added.

On Tuesday, the High Court, voting 10-5, ruled the martial law extension in Mindanao until December 31, 2018 was constitutional.

Related: SC upholds martial law extension in Mindanao

The Supreme Court rejected the four consolidated petitions questioning the factual basis of the extension, where petitioners cited the absence of actual firefights in the south.

Under the 1987 Constitution, martial rule is allowed "in case of invasion or rebellion, when the public safety requires it" for a period not exceeding 60 days. The Congress, however, may extend such proclamation or suspension "if the invasion or rebellion shall persist and public safety requires it."

Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao on May 23, 2017 in response to a terror attack on Marawi City. After it lapsed on July 23, the initial extension was set to end on December 31 that year.

The declaration was extended again, with government officials arguing that rebellion was still taking place in the southern region. However, critics pointed out the clash between the military and Maute terrorists was already over.

"We believe that martial law should be the exception — an extraordinary measure — it should not be the norm. Imposing it for such a long period in Mindanao, such a huge area, you are making it a norm," said Pangilinan.

CNN Philippines digital producer Eimor Santos contributed to this story.