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SC upholds Duterte's declaration of martial law in Mindanao

SC upholds Duterte's declaration of martial law in Mindanao”

The Supreme Court, in an en banc session held today, made a decision to uphold the validity of Duterte's martial law in Mindanao, dismissing the consolidated petitions filed by opposition lawmakers, four women from still-besieged Marawi City, and progressive leaders.

"The court dismissed the petitions by a vote of 11 of its members, three members voted to partially grant the petitions and one member voted to grant the petitions". Other details of the decision of the magistrates were not provided to the media by the court.

The martial law is legally limited to 60 days, and the green light of the parliament is necessary to prolong it. Mr Duterte said that he could indeed extend it and he also threatened to extend it if necessary to the whole country.

While the military has said the High Court decision boosts the morale of the troops, government officials in the past have admitted that martial law had no concrete impact on the military's anti-terror operations.

"As the conscience of our nation, the Supreme Court did not sit idly to watch our country get dismembered", Mr. Cadila, the solicitor general, said in a statement.

"Now, Martial Law can nearly arbitrarily be declared, and, in a sense, apparently putting us at the hands of a de facto military junta", he said, adding he expects "an emboldened military and police to commit more human rights violations and further endanger the lives of our people not just in Marawi but the whole of Mindanao".

"This only goes to show that we have a very strong majority and factual basis for declaration of martial law is sustained".

"I had no doubts that the President validly, with factual basis, declared martial law", Pimentel said.

Nothing surprising with the SC decision.

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The petitioners branded as "inaccurate, simulated, false and hyperbolic" the facts contained in Proclamation 216, and the report submitted by the President in the Senate and House of Representatives justifying the imposition of martial law and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus.

Key task no. 3 of said directive made the NPAs as a target of the martial law.

Panelo added Duterte only did what was right in the face of an "actual rebellion in Mindanao initiated by the Maute Group".

The SC has yet to rule on two other petitions filed against Proclamation No. 216 and seeking to compel Congress to convene and deliberate on the declaration.

The leadership of the police and the military establishments are inclined to recommend to President Duterte the extension of the implementation of Martial Law in Mindanao.

"Now that the President has the support of the Court and Congress, he should use that support, not to be over confident, but certainly because we believe that there is a situation occurring in the country that must be solved", he added.

The Kabataan Party-list, on the other hand, condemned the SC decision saying the court "has joined the band of militarists, rightists and other groups who favor fascism".

Lawmaker-petitioners versus the martial law on Tuesday warn of a "creeping authoritarian rule" in the guise of public safety and security, now that the SC chose to rule in favor of Duterte's martial-law declaration.

Senator Paolo Benigno A. Aquino IV, for his part, said: "Let's focus on giving displaced Filipino families the support they need and be ready to pour all efforts to rebuilding Marawi, reestablishing our schools, and creating jobs and livelihood for the community".

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