Philippine president could proclaim martial law nationwide

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte got the backing from a Supreme Court decision on July 4 which upholds his authority and discretion to proclaim martial law not only in Mindanao but nationwide, prompting critics to slam the ruling for not providing any safeguards to protect human rights and the fundamental freedoms.

Martial law on the entire Philippines is a grim reminder for Filipinos of what happened under the martial law rule of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos from 1972 to 1986, a period many experienced as “fascist.”

To proclaim martial law nationwide and endorse it for an indefinite period of time, Duterte will have to target the leftist rebel groups and people represented by the New People’s Army (NPA) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDPF) as his enemies and depend on the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police.

The Philippine constitution says martial law may be declared in the event of a rebellion, but for the Supreme Court, Duterte does not need to be sure that there is actual rebellion; he only needs to have probable cause to believe so.

The Communist Party of the Philippines, the NPA and the NDFP fear to become the main targets of the planned nationwide martial law regime. Communist rebels in a first reaction called this a “direct challenge” as nationwide martial law would “further aggravate the campaign of murder and brutalities under his strongman rule.”

The Communist Party of the Philippines said the guerrilla force “must firmly grasp their weapons, confront the fascists in the battlefield, wage guerrilla warfare intensively and extensively, further deepen and expand the people’s support and carry forward the people’s war to ever greater heights.”

Opposition politicians and other critics said that martial law should be limited only to Marawi City instead of currently all of Mindanao where it is believed to be extended this month.

President Duterte took a swipe at critics of his martial law proclamation in Mindanao where fighting is going on against Islamist groups, saying he had “a job to do” and he “could go to jail” if he failed.

“I want it ended as soon as possible but I must be assured also that the Filipino people and the nation are safe,” he said, without commenting on the possibility of nationwide martial law. He so far just noted that he might move to extend martial law in Mindanao beyond 60 days if the crisis there drags on, and possibly expand it to the Visayas “if there is a spillover” of the violence in the south.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte got the backing from a Supreme Court decision on July 4 which upholds his authority and discretion to proclaim martial law not only in Mindanao but nationwide, prompting critics to slam the ruling for not providing any safeguards to protect human rights and the fundamental freedoms.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte got the backing from a Supreme Court decision on July 4 which upholds his authority and discretion to proclaim martial law not only in Mindanao but nationwide, prompting critics to slam the ruling for not providing any safeguards to protect human rights and the fundamental freedoms.

Martial law on the entire Philippines is a grim reminder for Filipinos of what happened under the martial law rule of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos from 1972 to 1986, a period many experienced as “fascist.”

To proclaim martial law nationwide and endorse it for an indefinite period of time, Duterte will have to target the leftist rebel groups and people represented by the New People’s Army (NPA) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDPF) as his enemies and depend on the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police.

The Philippine constitution says martial law may be declared in the event of a rebellion, but for the Supreme Court, Duterte does not need to be sure that there is actual rebellion; he only needs to have probable cause to believe so.

The Communist Party of the Philippines, the NPA and the NDFP fear to become the main targets of the planned nationwide martial law regime. Communist rebels in a first reaction called this a “direct challenge” as nationwide martial law would “further aggravate the campaign of murder and brutalities under his strongman rule.”

The Communist Party of the Philippines said the guerrilla force “must firmly grasp their weapons, confront the fascists in the battlefield, wage guerrilla warfare intensively and extensively, further deepen and expand the people’s support and carry forward the people’s war to ever greater heights.”

Opposition politicians and other critics said that martial law should be limited only to Marawi City instead of currently all of Mindanao where it is believed to be extended this month.

President Duterte took a swipe at critics of his martial law proclamation in Mindanao where fighting is going on against Islamist groups, saying he had “a job to do” and he “could go to jail” if he failed.

“I want it ended as soon as possible but I must be assured also that the Filipino people and the nation are safe,” he said, without commenting on the possibility of nationwide martial law. He so far just noted that he might move to extend martial law in Mindanao beyond 60 days if the crisis there drags on, and possibly expand it to the Visayas “if there is a spillover” of the violence in the south.

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