- Defeated petitioners decried ruling of Supreme Court upholding martial law in Mindanao
- They said president may be emboldened to eventually declare martial law over entire PH
- They also vowed to continue opposing martial law and any plan to extend or expand it
MANILA, Philippines – Opposition solons blasted the Supreme Court for ruling in favor of President Rodrigo Duterte’s proclamation of martial law in Mindanao; saying it would embolden him to eventually place the entire country under martial rule.
“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,” Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin told the Philippine Daily Inquirer. “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.”
Ifugao Rep. Tom Baguilat, on the other hand, said he will continue to oppose martial law and any plans to extend or expand it.
“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,” he said.
“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 institutionalizing a dictatorship and must be opposed by democracy defenders in Congress,” he added.
Bayan Muna Secretary General Renato Reyes, one of the petitioners, also accused the Supreme Court of complicity and said their decision will serve as a shield for state forces to commit abuses with impunity.
“The militarists will surely be emboldened by the decision. The SC also becomes complicit in the abuses being committed under Martial Law,” he said.