MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo has urged President Rodrigo Duterte to take back his statement about disregarding Congress and the Supreme Court amid the declaration of martial law in Mindanao.
In a statement on Tuesday, May 30, Robredo warned the public about such statements which contradicts the oath of every public servants to preserve and defend the Constitution.
“We urge the President: take back what he said about disregarding Congress and the Supreme Court and be an example to all public servants that in the face of whatever crisis in our nation, we will all remain faithful to our Constitution and our democracy,” Robredo said.
The Vice President said the present Constitution was drafted precisely to avoid authoritarian rule, and the President must understand that such ‘reckless statements’ would only seek to add fear among the people.
“The very legitimacy of our government is based on this faithful adherence to our Constitution. We cannot deny the power of Congress and the Supreme Court to review any proclamation of Martial Law and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus,” Robredo added.
Earlier, Duterte vowed to ignore the two branches of government – the Congress and the Supreme Court – in his imposition of military rule in Mindanao following the siege of Marawi City by the Maute Group last week.
“Until the police and the Armed Forces say the Philippines is safe, this martial law will continue. I will not listen to others. The Supreme Court, Congress, they are not here,” Duterte said.
But in her statement, Robredo reminded Duterte of the human rights abuses committed during martial law of the Marcos regime.
“Many of our fellow Filipinos fear that our nation will once again sink into the quagmire of violence and abuse that prevailed during those dark times,” she said.