- President reversed earlier vow to ignore Supreme Court’s decision on martial law proclamation
- He said he will abide by high tribunal’s ruling
- He is hoping SC will also consider the fact Maute militants are being helped by the Islamic State
MANILA, Philippines – In what appeared to be a softening of his earlier stance, President Rodrigo Duterte said he will abide by whatever decision the Supreme Court will render on his martial law proclamation over Mindanao.
“Of course, we are bound by rules. That’s already the Supreme Court,” GMA News quoted him as saying.
At the same time, Duterte evinced hope that the high tribunal would take into account the destruction caused by the Maute group and the threat posed by the Islamic State when it makes its ruling.
“I’m sure that they would take into account the fighting going on and what’s behind it. What is frightening is the ISIS,” he said.
Previously, the president had vowed to ignore any order from the SC or Congress to rescind his proclamation.
“Until the Armed Forces and the police say that the Philippines is safe, this martial law will continue. I will not listen to anyone else, be it the Supreme Court, congressmen. They’re not here,” he said. “Why, are they the ones who risk their lives? Are they the ones who suffer? Are they the ones who will suffer the wounds of war?”
Duterte’s martial law proclamation is facing five petitions before the high tribunal; with three asking for the lifting of the order and the other two requesting the Supreme Court to order Congress to hold a joint session.
Under the 1987 Constitution, any citizen may question the sufficiency of the factual basis for the martial law proclamation before the Supreme Court.