Senators: No surprises in SC decision upholding martial law
MANILA, Philippines – Administration senators on Tuesday, July 4, welcomed the Supreme Court decision upholding the declaration of martial law in Mindanao.
Allies of President Rodrigo Duterte said the SC ruling is proof that there is a “strong support” for the Chief Executive's decision to declare martial law in the region, following clashes between government troops and the Maute Group in Marawi City.
Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, Duterte’s partymate at PDP-Laban, said he had anticipated the favorable SC decision as the President’s declaration has factual basis.
“I had no doubts that the President validly, with factual basis, declared martial law. Nothing surprising with the SC decision. I actually expected that,” Pimentel told reporters.
Senator Richard Gordon shared the same sentiment. The President, he said, should now use the support of the High Court and Congress to fix the situation in Mindanao.
"This only goes to show that we have a very strong majority and factual basis for declaration of martial law is sustained. Now is the time to fix the situation not only in Marawi but in the whole of Mindanao,” Gordon said.
“Now that the President has the support of the Court and Congress, he should use that support, not to be over confident, but certainly because we believe that there is a situation occurring in the country that must be solved,” he added.
Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, Duterte's close ally who is also from Mindanao, said government forces could now focus on its clearing operations against the terror group and on rehabilitation the city.
“I’m relieved that the Supreme Court upheld the declaration of martial law in Mindanao so that the government security forces can continue their pursuit and clearing operations against the terrorist without a cloud of doubt on their mandate to do so,” Zubiri said.
“The government must now focus and concentrate on ridding Mindanao of this menace and start the rehab plan in all the affected areas so that we may achieve normalcy and ultimately economic growth and benefits for all in this region,” he added.
Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito said it was time to show a "united front" against terrorism.
"Now that the the branches of government have already affirmed the President's actions, it is time to show a united front against terrorism and lawless violence, and most importantly, begin the urgent work of rebuilding the communities of Marawi City," Ejercito said.
Senator Juan Edgardo Angara expressed hope that the SC ruling would boost the military’s morale to quickly end the problem.
“A strong majority in support of the declaration of martial law. Hope it gives our soldiers a boost and helps bring crisis to an end,” Angara posted on Twitter.
Seventeen of 23 senators earlier signed a resolution supporting Duterte's proclamation of military rule, saying there was no "compelling reason" to revoke it.
The Senate also rejected the minority's call to convene Congress, arguing it is only needed if there is intention to revoke the declaration.
But Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, one of Duterte's fiercest critics, said the President was testing the waters fornationwide declaration of martial rule. military rule.
In a landmark ruling, the SC upheld the constitutionality of Duterte's martial law declaration in Mindanao, dismissing petitions – filed by 3 groups including opposition lawmakers from the House of Representatives – that argued that Proclamation 216 had no sufficient factual basis.
Eleven justices voted to dismiss the petitions against martial law, 3 voted to partially grant them, and one voted to grant them. – Rappler.com