MANILA -- Given that Malacañang already has the legislative's backing to extend martial law in Mindanao, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Thursday stressed that the executive is ready to defend both branches' position on the proclamation before the High Court.

"The Legislative and Executive departments have already decided that the further extension of martial law in Mindanao is necessary to quell the remaining terrorists who brought destruction to Marawi and its neighboring communities," he said in a statement.

Congress has overwhelmingly approved by a 240-27 vote the extension of the proclamation of martial law.

In this regard, Roque said legal and factual bases of the martial law extension "have been clearly established" based on the security assessment by our ground commanders.

"We are thus prepared to defend our position before the High Court," he said.

The statement came following opposition lawmakers from the House of Representatives' filing of a petition before the Supreme Court questioning the constitutionality of the extension. "On the petitioners’ allegations that martial law may lead to 'extension in perpetuity,' these are mere surmises and conjectures and not supported by law and the Constitution," he said.

"Martial law in perpetuity is a scenario that neither the President, Congress or the Supreme Court will allow as it is patently unconstitutional," he said. (PNA)