ON THE SUPREME COURT DECISION TO DECLARE THE LEGALITY OF MARTIAL LAW IN MINDANAO

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

It is with great dismay and rage that the Filipino youth and people greet the decision of the Supreme Court to render legal the imposition of martial law in Mindanao today. In a press conference today the SC announced that, 11 justices voted to dismiss the petitions, 3 voted to partially grant the petitions and only 1 supreme court justice voted to grant the prayer of the petitioners. The Supreme Court however declined to divulge further information as all justices’ opinions are still being finalized and will be released to the public tomorrow.
While we await further information, it is clear that at this point the Supreme Court has joined the band of militarists, rightists and other groups who favor fascism, at the expense of the lives and livelihood of the More and the people of Mindanao.
“The SC decision affirms one thing — that the ruling class, the ruling elites, is now held hostage by the US. It should be noted that Martial Law in Mindanao was consented by Duterte under pressure and prodding of the US-AFP, based on unsubstantial bases,” Kabataan Partylist Rep. Sarah Elago said.
Rep. Elago, together with workers, peasant leaders, peoples organizations human rights groups, submitted a petition to the Supreme Court on June 9, demanding the nullification of martial law, questioning the proclamation’s justification of rebellion, and vague reference to “other rebel groups” that can be easily used as pretext to criminalize political activists.
Mindanao has been ridden with conflict because of decades of neglect. US has been using the conflict to sow terrorism, to muddle the struggle of the Moro people’s right to self-determination and brand it as a terrorist act. This is when in fact, US-CIA is the brainchild of terrorism. Duterte had the chance to make a pivotal turn in history, and heed the democratic pleas of the Mindanao people, but he kowtowed to the prodding of US and the AFP.
Over the last month, scores of evacuation, air strikes, rape threats, intimidation and other human rights violations have plagued Mindanao under martial rule. The court’s decision will give basis for the military to expand its rule nationwide and usher in another period of violations and abuses,” Elago added.
“Despite this, the Filipino people will never cower in silence. Martial law will never stifle the people’s struggle for social change that the administration outright ignored. In fact, it will only strengthen the Moro resistance, the people’s movement and the call for peace and social justice,” Elago concluded. ###