Rodrigo Duterte threatens to jail martial law critics

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In the Philippines, the Supreme Court today endorsed President Rodrigo Duterte's enforcement of martial law across the southern part of the country.

Martial Law in Mindanao was declared by Duterte, nighttime of May 23, the very day the Maute Group attacked Marawi City.

Te said three of the justices voted to partially grant the petitions while one voted to grant them.

Duterte placed Mindanao under martial law on May 23, after security forces clashed with the Maute - an Islamic State-inspired terrorist group - while en route to arrest Isnilon Hapilon, the designated IS "emir" in Southeast Asia.

Sen. Joseph Victor G. Ejercito also welcomed the SC decision upholding the declaration of martial law, saying, "Now that the two branches of government have already affirmed the President's actions, it is time to show a united front against terrorism and lawless violence and, more important, begin the urgent work of rebuilding the communities of Marawi City".

"I knew we did the right thing in supporting the martial-law proclamation in Mindanao when we debated on it in caucus and in plenary", Lacson said.

"Clearly, the Supreme Court is making decisions not irrespective of the broader political atmosphere", Mr. Heydarian said.

President Duterte gestures as he reiterates that his only mandate as the country's head of state is to protect and preserve the Filipinos in his speech during the province's 50th founding anniversary at the Davao del Sur Sports and Business Complex in Digos City on July 1, 2017.

The firebrand Duterte said in May that his version of martial law "will not be any different" from Marcos'.

Under the Constitution, the SC is mandated "to review, in an appropriate proceeding filed by any citizen, the sufficiency of the factual basis of the proclamation of Martial Law or the suspension of the privilege of the Writ or the extension thereof, and must promulgate its decision thereon within 30 days from its filing".

Defence officials hope the crisis will end before Duterte delivers his annual state of the nation address on July 24, but Lorenzana said he would let commanders set the pace of the battle to avoid adding pressure that could endanger troops.

"I can only hope that none of our Senate colleagues will call the magistrates lapdogs and cowards of the administration", he said.

Lacson was referring to Sen.

Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate expressed worries about a "military junta" that may eventually effectively rule in place of a proper civilian government.

Ephraim Cortez, NUPL secretary general, echoed Tinio's opinion, adding that the government can most likely declare martial law in the whole country if they were able to do so in Mindanao "based on alternative and magnified facts as well as exaggerated scenarios".

Honasan pointed out that flaws in politics and democracy in its worst forms are much better than no rules which is anarchy noting that "everything else is procedural".

The Supreme Court is expected to resolve on Tuesday the consolidated petitions seeking to nullify the President's declaration of martial law on the grounds that there is no factual basis for it.

"... We have to note that there were issues before regarding scope, on whether it should just be Marawi or that region or the whole Mindanao, with regard to extending martial law", Villanueva said.

Vice-President Maria Leonor G. Robredo, in a statement, said the decision was an "important component of the mandated checks and balances to martial law".

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