Anti-martial law protesters took to the streets in Woodside, Queens, calling for peace and security in Marawi and the immediate lifting of martial law in Mindanao.
In an interview, Bernadette Ellorin of Bayan USA said one of the biggest fears with the declaration of martial law in Mindanao is that "history has already shown us that martial law leads to egregious human rights abuses."
'Killings, abductions, torture, displacement, bombings… so the Filipino people don’t want that anymore," Ellorin said.
Labor rights lawyer Attorney Felix Vinluan believes President Duterte’s declaration of martial law in Mindanao is an overkill to what he calls a “local peace and order situation” in Marawi City.
Vinluan said the martial law declaration should be challenged in Philippine courts and stopped before it becomes a nationwide martial law.
“We’ve been trying to give him the benefit of the doubt, but I think lumalabas yung dictatorial tendencies niya. No wonder he’s so friendly with the Marcoses,” he said.
Other Filipinos, however, reacted differently to news about the martial law declaration.
"I cannot blame all those who suffered during martial law, and if they have ideas na parang bumabalik sa kanila but at the same time we want to trust the president,” said Duterte supporter Omar Ali.
"I am against declaring martial law all over the country, if it gets to that.”
A son of veteran Muslim politician Ali Dimaporo also noted: "We believe in you President Duterte, so we know you’re very extra cautious with the martial law that you’re trying to have right now. Ang hope lang is sana nga, it is for the good of the people."
Kababayans in the Big Apple plan to continue anti-martial law demonstrations until Duterte lifts martial law in the southern Philippines.
Read more on Balitang America.