The highest court in the Philippines backed President Rodrigo Duterte’s imposition of martial law in Mindanao aimed at defeating terrorist groups behind the Marawi City crisis.
During Tuesday’s en banc session, 11 out of 14 justices from the Supreme Court voted to dismiss the consolidated petitions against the Martial Law declaration in Mindanao while three believe that the coverage of martial law should be limited to Marawi City and nearby areas.
Only one justice voted against the Martial Law declaration of President Duterte because of alleged lack of factual basis.
Several activist groups also organized a rally in front of Supreme Court building ahead of Tuesday’s vote to urged the justices to end the martial law in Mindanao.
This are the list of the SC Justices who voted on the fate of Martial Law:
IN FAVOR OF THE MARTIAL LAW IN MINDANAO:
Associate Justice Presbitero J. Velasco, Jr.
Associate Justice Teresita J. Leonardo-De Castro
Associate Justice Diosdado M. Peralta
Associate Justice Lucas P. Bersamin
Associate Justice Mariano C. Del Castillo
Associate Justice Jose C. Mendoza
Associate Justice Bienvenido L. Reyes
Associate Justice Estela M. Perlas-Bernabe
Associate Justice Francis H. Jardeleza
Associate Justice Samuel R. Martires
Associate Justice Noel G. Tijam
IN FAVOR OF MARTIAL LAW ONLY IN MARAWI CITY AND NEARBY AREAS:
Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno
Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio
Associate Justice Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa
NO FACTUAL BASIS FOR MARTIAL LAW DECLARATION:
Associate Justice Marvic Leonen
Malacañnag expressed their joy after the judiciary favored the decision of the executive and legislative branch of the government to maintain the martial law declaration in Mindanao.
“The High Court has spoken: Proclamation 216 is constitutional. The President is sworn to protect the Filipino people. He will not waver in this commitment to end rebellion, the evil of terrorism and to liberate Marawi,” presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella in a statement said.
“With the Supreme Court decision, the whole government now stands together as one against a common enemy,” he added.
The petitioners is not yet giving any comments on the decision of the Supreme court to junk their petitions.
On May 23, President Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao at 10:000 in the evening, in the middle of his diplomatic visit to Russia.
Several weeks after the declaration of Martial Law, opposition congressmen led by Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, activists and militant lawmakers and four women residents of Marawi City filed a petition to nullify the declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao.
The petitioner believed that the crisis in Marawi City is not enough basis to declare martial law in the whole island of Mindanao. They pointed out that terrorism does not equate to rebellion.
The petitioners also expressed their fear that martial law may result in abuses of human rights like what happened during the rule of former President Ferdinand Marcos.
President Rodrigo Duterte said that he would only lift the martial law if the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) gave him a recommendation that it’s already safe in Mindanao.
He also threatened to jail the justices who will force him to end the Martial Law.
“It’s not dependent on the whim of the Supreme Court. Should I believe them? When I see the situation is still chaotic and you ask me to lift it? I will arrest you and put you behind bars,” Duterte said in a speech before local officials.
“We can talk of anything else and make compromises maybe but not when the interest of my country is at stake,” he added.