Philippines' top court upholds Duterte's martial law

Magdalo's Alejano said he respected the court ruling but added that "placing the entire Mindanao under martial law is hard to comprehend and justify when the crisis is taking place only in the province of Lanao del Sur". "We have high hopes that this war will soon come to an end".

Konsyensa Dabaw cited Task no. 3 of the AFP Operational Directive to "degrade the armed capabilities of the NPA", which is "worrisome because there have been no proven connections between the NPA and the jihadists, and in light of efforts to bring the peace process between government and the National Democratic Front back on track".

Under the Constitution, the SC is mandated "to review, in an appropriate proceeding filed by any citizen, the sufficiency of the factual basis of the proclamation of Martial Law or the suspension of the privilege of the Writ or the extension thereof, and must promulgate its decision thereon within 30 days from its filing". "I will arrest you and put you behind bars", Duterte said in a speech to local officials, as quoted by AFP.

Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson Sr., likewise, noted the factual basis for the proclamation was "clear enough that there could not have been any other ruling as overwhelmingly decisive as the one rendered by the SC".

Members of the Senate minority bloc urged the Palace to listen to the three justices who voted to limit the scope of martial law.

Lacson was referring to Sen.

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"I can only hope that none of our Senate colleagues will call the magistrates lapdogs and cowards of the administration", he said. Gregorio T. Honasan II pointed out the SC ruling showed that "this is Philippine pluralistic democracy at work".

"Whatever the issue, Congress legislates, the Executive implements and the Judiciary rules on questions of law and fact", Honasan said.

"We are inclined to recommend to the President that if possible, since the situation has not yet stabilized, it would be better that it would be extended for the rehabilitation of Marawi City", said de la Rosa.

Gatchalian described the SC ruling as a "free hand" for the President to use all necessary means to crush the Maute terrorists.

"The monumental decision of the Supreme Court affirming Proclamation No. 216 underscores the existence of a real and present rebellion that threatens the lives of our fellow Filipinos in Mindanao, and their much-cherished liberties", Calida said in a statement.

He described it as a chance for the government's security forces to continue clearing operations against these Maute terrorists "without a cloud of doubt on their mandate to do so".

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"As we wrap up in our campaign to liberate Marawi, I am confident that the Philippine air force will once again take an active role in the rebuilding of the city", Duterte said.

Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate called the SC's decision an "ominous development that may place the country in an even more risky position".

One of the petitioners against martial law, Representative Villarin of Akbayan, claimed Duterte would be emboldened to declare martial rule nationwide on the pretext of fighting drugs syndicates.

He added that with the decision, the SC also became complicit with the abuses being committed under Duterte's martial law.

"Now that the legal debacle is done and over with, we should stand united and fully support the Martial Law in Mindanao", he said. "With the ruling, martial law becomes the "default response" of the state to address all acts of violence and lawlessness", Ms. Hontiveros said.

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