Critics of Martial Law do not want President Duterte to wait for any Supreme Court ruling before lifting military rule on Mindanao.

This was the sentiment of an both an ally and critic of the President.

They all feel that military rule is not needed for the president to address the terrorist activities of the Maute Group.

Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao said via text message, “With or without the supreme court ruling, it is a must for prrd to lift ML in mindanao as the magnitude of effects to the civilian populace moro or christians is far more destructive compared to the supposed threats. Time and again the existing security mechanisms of the state is enough to quell the remaining threat of maute and other terror groups. Prrd must also lift the all out war policy against the rev forces (cpp npa  ndf) and pursue further the peace nego – the signing of caser.  His assurance that he is well and not sick and just resting is enough to end all heresay.”

Former soldier, Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano said also via text message, “What the president is trying to tell us that military operations is synonimous to ML, that in the event ML is struck down by the SC he will pull out the military from Marawi. This is disinformation trying to deceive the people because the calling out powers of the president would not be affected by the adverse ruling of the SC. 

The president is just bluffing. Military operations can continue, which is the case in the past, even without ML. However, his consistent mentioning of ML is a way of conditioning the minds of the people that he will resort to it in the future. This is dangerous.”

Ifugao Rep.  Teddy Baguilat said via text message, “Well first, it’s comforting that he acknowledges authority of SC to revoke ML. In case that happens, troops should still remain in Marawi until the city is cleared of the Maute forces and the threat is contained.

Deployment of d military to fight insurgency and terrorism are regular functions of the military.

Meaning we should not equate ML declaration to mobilization of troops or make ML a precondition to strong counter-terrorism actions.”

In his first media interview after a nearly weeklong absence, President Duterte said he will heed any ruling of the Supreme Court on martial law, even if it is adversarial. The court is now tackling several petitions asking the court to determine the sufficiency of the factual basis of the declaration. “If they want a — sabihin nila na there is no factual basis, then I am ready to order the military to withdraw. And we will not move. Sila na, sila diyan kung kaya nila.So kung magsabi ang Supreme Court, mali, then okay. I will withdraw. “

Duterte however left open the possibility of re-declaring martial law in the future. “Then if anything goes wrong… ‘pag mag-declare ako ng martial law uli, the second time around, if the people suffer — bombings, ganon and I’d be forced to call martial law, hindi na ko makinig maski kanino. Kasi kung sabihin nilang mahinto, maghinto ako. Withdraw tayo. And the police tutal ang sabi mo, terrorist talaga. Eh magbisita sila.But if that rebellion burns Mindanao and the other parts of the Philippines, and I will be forced to declare martial law again, this time, I will do it on my own to preserve my nation. I will not consult anybody and there is no telling when it will end. Wala na. Basta… then it could be a copycat of Marcos. “

Allies  of Vice-President Leni Robredo reiterates calls for President Duterte to tell all about his state of health.

Ifugao Rep Teddy Baguilat said in a text message, “Appreciative that he recognizes the constitutional succession and the capability of VP LENI ROBREDO to take over…That said, worried over his absences and really wishes better health for the President and hopefully more disclosure to quell rumors of more serious ailments”

Akbayan Rep.  Tom Villarin said in a text message, “Hope the President has fully recovered but given his past medical conditions the nation has something to worry about. Our democratic institutions are in place and there is nothing to worry about instability. Unless partisans create conditions that would create instability.”

President Duterte maintained there was no special reason for his absence from the public eye last week when he faced the media again over the weekend.

” Sa kama man lang ako, kayo ang nagsabing nasa coma ako. Wrong spelling man ‘yan. Kama, coma. Coma, kama. Kung na-coma ako, hindi ako andito para mam****** i**.How do I do it? I had to go to — My last examination was last [week?]. My state of health is what you see is what you get. You want an operation?”

Upon pressing by the media, Duterte simply maintained that Robredo can take over if anything happens to him. “Ganon’ ako. I do not need anybody to ask me where I’m going. Pag ‘di pa gani ninyo ako makita ng limang araw, eh patay na ‘yan, so use your Robredo. Anong problema ninyo? May Bise-Presidente. Kung hindi ako lumabas, in coma or whatever the speculation is, then if it’s about a month wala nang president at sabihin in coma, may mag verify doon, kayong lahat, sabihin mo na na “O, time—  time for change.”And the only problem is walang successor because there will be a struggle. Pagka ganon, if there’s a vacuum sa leadership, the military will always take over to control, to put things in order and maybe set an election. Pero may Bise Presidente tayo eh so ano ba ang problema ninyo?”

Duterte maintained he just needed time to rest.” Do not worry. There is the Vice President who will take over. My state of health is immaterial. Kasi ang importante na may successor. So walang — may institutional succession, you follow it. So ano ba problema diyan, spekulasyon? Sa mga kababayan ko, ‘wag kayong mag– Do not worry too much.  Ayaw pa ninyo ‘yan? Baka isang araw, baka isang taon lang, bago na naman. Bagong Presidente. Masyado ako na — I am good while I am alive but do not worry about a one day, two days absence. Baka nasanay na kayo kay Marcos noon ‘no, na na-operahan, may sakit lupus tapos he could not appear for so many days. Ano na lang. Sabihin mo nalang doon sa mga kalaban ko na magdasal na lang kayo para ma — “