Palace welcomes SC decision to uphold year-long martial law extension

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 07 2018 02:47 PM

Troops pass by rows of ruined buildings in the main battle area of Marawi City in October 2017, a few days since government declared the end of hostilities in the city. Fernando G. Sepe Jr., ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Malacañang on Wednesday welcomed the Supreme Court ruling that upheld the year-long extension of martial law in Mindanao, saying it is a manifestation of confidence on law enforcement agencies.

Voting 10-5, the High Court on Tuesday affirmed the extension of military rule in Mindanao until the end of the year, dismissing petitions challenging its constitutionality.

In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the SC decision “underscores the unity of the whole government in its bid to defeat terrorism and prevent the spread in other parts of the country" of local and foreign terror groups. 

“The majority of votes is a manifestation of confidence on law enforcement agencies that they shall, like they had been doing before, continue to protect our people, secure Mindanao, and pursue the bigger task of rehabilitation while upholding the rule of law, human rights, and international humanitarian law.”

The high court said President Rodrigo Duterte and Congress had sufficient factual bases to extend military rule in the restive region since “the rebellion that spawned the Marawi incident persists” and “public safety requires the extension, as shown by facts presented by the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines).” 

President Rodrigo Duterte cited remaining security threats in Mindanao in seeking another extension of martial law despite the end of hostilities in Marawi City in October.

He initially declared a 60-day military rule over all of Mindanao when firefights erupted between state troops and Islamic State-linked terrorists in Marawi on May 23, 2017. 

The Supreme Court first upheld this declaration in July when its legality was questioned.