Martial Law petitioners disappointed with SC decision; planning to file an appeal

Petitioners and opposition solons against martial law in Mindanao reacted to the Supreme Court's decision in supporting the President Rodrigo Duterte's declaration.

Lawmakers of the House of Representatives lamented on the decision of the highest court in the Philippines to uphold military rule of President Duterte in Mindano. They addressed the decision to be an example of "creeping authoritarian rule."

The independent minority bloc, referred to as 'Magnificent 7', cried over the magistrates' judgement dismissing their petition against President’s Proclamation No. 216.

"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 stated.

"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," Villarin exaggerated.

Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat said that he'll wait for the Supreme Court's reasons before making a comment on the decision but his stand will not falter and will continue to go against the President's proclamation.

"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," Baguilat said in a message to reporters.

"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.

Gary Alejano, Magdalo Representative, said despite his respect at the Supreme Court's decision, he won't change his mind and will maintain his belief that declaring martial law in Mindanao was unnecessary.

"I respect the decision of the High Court in upholding the imposition of martial law by President Duterte in Mindanao after the Marawi crisis. 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," he said.

He pointed that with this decision of the SC, they have "set a dangerous precedence to future imposition of martial law in the country."

Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas stated that the Philippines is now facing a "dark era"  now that three branches of the government are supporting military rule, where the Supreme Court has given it's blessing for the "arbitrary declaration of a nationwide martial law."

"We call on Filipino women and the people to vigorously defend human rights and civil liberties in the face of a looming full-blown dictatorial rule with military at the helm," she said.

The National Union of Peoples' Lawyers (NUPL) stated, represented by groups of militant lawmakers and activists, said it was "mulling if a motion for reconsideration of the formal decision is still in order, realistic or practical."

NUPL said that the decision was "a big letdown and disappointment fraught with even greater dangers as it apparently dilutes the already inadequate constitutional safeguards of the anti-dictatorship 1987 Constitution."

One of the three petitioners will possibly file an appeal on the decision. Under the court's rules, 15 days will be alloted for those who will appeal.

"Now, more than ever, we call on the Filipino people to remain critical and vigilant. If they can declare an expansive martial law in Mindanao based on alternative and magnified facts as well as exaggerated scenarios, they can do the same for the entire Philippines," said NUPL secretary general Ephraim Cortez.

"It is a dangerous precedent not much unlike the Martial Law cases jurisprudence of the dictator Marcos Supreme Court."

On Tuesday's en banc session, the high court voted 11-3-1, where eleven are in favor of martial while three (Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio and Associate Justice Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa) wants the military rule to be confined within Marawi City. Associate Justice Marvic Leonen is the only one who opposed.

Source: GMA, TodayOnline