OPENNESS

More and more Congressmen are open to the extension of Martial Law in Mindanao following the Supreme Court’s ruling upholding the declaration.

House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez welcomed the ruling and said, “the declaration of the president of martial law for mindanao vindicated by this present event that’s happenning now. yung extension it’s a call of the House and senate and if the president will ask for it. i think the situation far far away from being normal an extension maybe in order. i think the situation is focused towards the situation in Mindanao. maybe extension will be in order”

House Committee on Good Government Johnny Pimentel said, “well expected naman yun eh dapat naman talaga  desisyunan  favorably ng supreme court yun dahil nakikita naman niyo ang laking kaguluhan  sa marawi more than 30 days na nga pag di pa natapos yun… baka kailangan pa nga extend  kungdi pa matapos yung kaguluhan sa marawi more than almost 400 already died kailangan ng presidente ng power udner martial law para masolve na tong prublema sa marawi”

Unless extended by Congress, martial law lapses 60 days after declaration.

Last Saturday, Former President now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said she is even willing to extend the declaration past the 60 day period prescribed by the Constitution.

asked during an ambush interview if she is open to an extension, Arroyo said, “if he asks for it yes.” under the 1987 Constitution, Congress can approve an extenstion past 60 days if it is so requested by the President.

Previously, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez reportedly expressed opennes to extending martial law till the end of the President’s term in 2022.

Separately Rep. Robert Ace Barbers  welcomed the ruling as well. “This is a clear vindication of President Duterte’s resolve to crush the Maute rebellion at all cost. Putting the entire Mindanao under Martial Law proved to be a wise move as it prevented possible reinforcements from reaching the rebels in Marawi. “

However opposition to the ruling continues. Anakpawis Party-list Representative Ariel “Ka Ayik” Casilao condemned the Supreme Court decision upholding martial law in Mindanao and said that the high court failed to heed the people’s call for justice throught its lifting, as it only resulted death and destruction in Marawi City.

Anakpawis believed that the martial law in Mindanao is contrary to a democratic rule, as well as respect to the right to self-determination of the Moro people, rights to land of farmers and basic rights of the people against state fascist abuses such as extra-judicial killings, illegal arrests and searches, aerial bombings of farmer communities and other transgressions. 

“The decision is a dangerous precedent, as this would favor a false flag operation that could be launched in a single municipality or city, aiming for a martial law proclamation for the whole major island of the Visayas or Luzon, consequently, nationwide.”

Casilao added, “The Supreme Court exposed itself as part of undermining democracy and proved that the legal system is tolerant of the agony and distress of the people victimized by the proclamation.”

Expectedly, the petitioners against martial law in Mindanao did not take very well that the Supreme Court has now upheld the declaration in a lopsided vote.

Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin said, “It is a decision hyped by fear and insecurity as laid to the Court after the fact. By broadening factual basis post-facto, it puts back the ‘imminent danger’ principle into the equation.”

Villarin also said that Akbayan warns of a ‘creeping authoritarian rule’ in the guise of public safety and security now that the Supreme Court decided to rule in favor of President Duterte’s martial law declaration in Mindanao.

“Now that he is cloaked with such authority, President Duterte might push it to the limit and declare a drug-induced nationwide rebellion by terror groups. Martial law becomes a hard habit to break.”

The PNP and the AFP just stated that they want martial law extended for two more months.

The decision affirmed the high court’s judicial power to review the sufficiency of the factual basis for the declaration of martial law or the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus. However, the court left to the President the discretion and calibration of such declaration in a given context.  The Marawi incident and the martial law declaration is now on its seventh week with no end in sight to finally neutralize the Maute terrorists.

“As things stand now under martial law we are even facing a growing humanitarian crisis affecting close to 300,000 civilians.

Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano however stands pat on his opposition to martial law. “I maintain, however, that there is no need for the President to declare Martial Law in order to suppress the acts of terrorism perpetrated by the Maute Group.The Supreme Court’s ruling will set a dangerous precedence to future imposition of martial law in the country. We, in the Magdalo, will study Supreme Court’s decision and its implications to our democracy.”

another petitioner, Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat, “On my part, I will study the reasons cited by the SC when their decision comes out before I make a long comment. But for now, we will continue to vigorously oppose ML declaration and possible extension and expansion.

We also maintain that martial law must be subject to the people’s scrutiny.  Just like clockwork, the leadership has now proposed its extension. This is one draconian step to institutionlizing a dictatorship n must be opposed by democracy defenders in Congress”

another petitioner,  Gabriela Party List Rep. Arlene Brosas, said The Filipino women and the people face a dark era with the three branches of government throwing their support to the declaration of the Mindanao-wide martial law, which has only wrought destruction in Marawi and enabled worse military-sponsored rights violations across Mindanao.

“With the SC backing of martial law, the military will be emboldened to carry out aerial strikes, indiscriminate firing and in using rape as a tool of war against civilians. The decision sets the ground for the arbitrary declaration of a nationwide martial law, as it upheld the presence of rebellion based merely on inaccurate and fake reports by the military on an alleged siege of Marawi City by the Maute group last May 23. 

ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio expressed dismay. “As one of the petitioners, I’m utterly dismayed at this decision. The Supreme Court has reneged on its role as last institutional rampart against abuse of  the Executive’s martial law power. I’m afraid that this Supreme Court will go down in history as having paved the way  for state repression against citizens in the name of a prolonged and expanded martial law based on nebulous and shifting grounds.”

For his part, Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate condemned in the strongest terms possible the Supreme Court decision to uphold Martial Law in the whole of Mindanao.

“Now, Martial Law can almost arbitrarily be declared, and, in a sense, apparently putting us at the hands of a de facto military junta,” he added.

“This is an ominous development that may place the country in an even more dangerous position. We could expect 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,”

“The Martial  law monster will now target civilians and organizations considered as sympathetic and supportive of the CPP-NPA because  AFP Operational Directive Number 2 2017 or the “AFP’s Implementation of Martial Law in Mindanao” key task no. 3 makes the NPA target of Martial law.

“The SC affirms one thing — that the ruling class, the ruling elites, is now held hostage by the US. It should be noted that Martial Law in Mindanao was consented by Duterte under pressure and prodding of the US-AFP, based on unsubstantial bases,” Kabataan Partylist Rep. Sarah Elago said.

 

Rep. Elago, together with workers, peasant leaders, peoples organizations human rights groups, submitted a petition to the Supreme Court on June 9, demanding the nullification of martial law, questioning the proclamation’s justification of rebellion, and vague reference to “other rebel groups” that can be easily used as pretext to criminalize political activists.

ACT Teachers Party-List Rep. France Castro  said The dismissal of our petition shows that the Supreme Court is complicit in President Duterte’s baseless declaration of martial law covering the whole island of Mindanao without substantial proof of any rebellion in all its provinces and cities.  “The high court today sanctioned the placing of entire Moro, Christian, and indigenous communities under military rule, and the grave humanitarian crisis, specifically the dire situation of  evacuees, death of children and cases of mental illness caused by the military operations. Human rights violations against hundreds of thousands of civilians ensued and are continuing as we speak. 

On the other hand administration House members today lauded the Supreme Court decision upholding the martial law declaration of President Duterte in Mindanao last May 23.

House Deputy Speaker Gwendolyn “Gwen” Garcia said the Supreme Court ruling reaffirms in no uncertain terms the validity of the President’s decision in declaring martial law in Mindanao.

“This is a victory for the rule of law and all law-abiding Filipinos who continue to support and believe in President Duterte,” said Garcia, Rep. Rodolfo Albano III (First District, Isabela) said the Supreme Court decision was easy to understand and should ease all concerns and questions about President Duterte’s martial law declaration.

“It’s obvious..The law is as clear as mud,” said Albano, majority floor leader of the Commission on Appointments.

Another Mindanao lawmaker, Rep. Joel Mayo Almario (2nd District, Davao Oriental) said the Supreme Court ruling  was an expected decision.

“The peace and order situation when martial law was declared called for it, and it squarely satisfied the conditions set forth by the Constitution. In fact, the ensuing situation up to now, and up to an uncertain future date,  shows the unforeseen strength of the Maute group. It all the more justified and validated the declaration of Martial Law,” said Almario.

Administration ally Kabayan Rep. Harry Roque for his part backed the ruling of the Court. “I am happy that the Court respected and acknowledged the information that is readily available to the executive, which the High Tribunal does not have access to. And in the absence of its ability to discern for itself the factual basis for Martial Law, it should to accord the executive the presumption of regularity of discharge of function, which in this case it did.”

ACTS OFW Rep. John Bertiz said, “The Justices of the Supreme Court should be lauded for the decision to uphold the Presidents declaration of ML in Mindanao. The Magistrates and every member of the citizenry must show support at this critical time to our government, particularly to those brave & gallant soldiers who are fighting what is clearly evil “

Bertiz added, “The timely declaration of ML has once again showed the wisdom & determination of the President to curb extremism and lawlessness which will not only affect Maranaos but every Filipinos. I believe the Judiciary and the other branches of govt must be lauded for taking these steps which will obviously benefit the whole Nation. We should extend our full support to the President so he can perform well in his mandate of securing order while the whole island of Mindanao is under ML.”

Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles meantime said, the decision of the Supreme Court puts to rest any and all questions on the validity of President Duterte’s declaration of Martial Law.” In other words, the President was clearly and correctly justified in his decision to use the extraordinary powers given to him by the Constitution to protect the integrity of our republic and guarantee the safety of our people. Even the scope of his declaration was correct, when he covered the entire island of Mindanao under Martial Law to protect its inhabitants and ensure that the rebellion and terrorism would not cross over the other islands of Visayas and Luzon. “

Nograles added, “The Supreme Court has spoken. Those who are spreading lies and disinformation about Martial Law and those who seek to divide us should now put it to rest, and start doing something constructive to build our nation. Malinaw ang desisyon ng Supreme Court. Respetuhin natin ito.

The House of Representatives, prior to the sine die adjournment last May 31, adopted in plenary House Resolution 1050, expressing the chamber’s full support for President Rodrigo Duterte as it finds no reason to revoke Proclamation No. 216 which declared a state of martial law and suspended the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in the whole of Mindanao last May 23.