DUTERTE TO IG­NORE CONGRESS, COURT OVER MAR­TIAL LAW

The con­sti­tu­tion gives Congress and Supreme Court over­sight on mar­tial law

New Straits Times - - World -

JOLO home to 20 mil­lion peo­ple, fol­low­ing deadly clashes in a mostly Mus­lim-pop­u­lated city in­volv­ing mil­i­tants whom he said were es­tab­lish­ing a caliphate for the Is­lamic State group.

“Un­til the po­lice and armed forces say that the Philip­pines is safe, this mar­tial law will con­tinue. I will not lis­ten to oth­ers.

“The Supreme Court and Congress, they are not here. Are they the ones dy­ing, bleed­ing and hem­or­rhag­ing be­cause there is no help, no re­in­force­ment? It’s not them.”

The 1987 con­sti­tu­tion im­poses lim­its on mar­tial law to pre­vent a re­peat of the abuses car­ried out un­der the regime of dic­ta­tor Fer­di­nand Mar­cos, who was de­posed by a fa­mous “Peo­ple Power” rev­o­lu­tion the pre­vi­ous year.

The con­sti­tu­tion re­quires Congress to ap­prove a pres­i­dent’s dec­la­ra­tion of mar­tial law, and lim­its mil­i­tary rule for 60 days.

If a pres­i­dent wants to ex­tend it, he or she must again get con­gres­sional truck be­cause they were un­able to re­cite verses of the Qu­ran.

“We heard gun­fire, although I’m not sure if it was the same peo­ple who were shot. At 8.20am, there were civil­ians, con­cerned cit­i­zens, who said ‘can you ver­ify these dead bod­ies?’.”

Fierce bat­tles restarted yeste­day as ground troops en­gaged Maute fight­ers with heavy gun­fire.

He­li­copters fired at least eight en­dorse­ment.

The Supreme Court can rule on mar­tial law’s le­gal­ity.

“The Supreme Court will say it will ex­am­ine into the fac­tual (ba­sis). Why? I don’t know.

“They (the Supreme Court mem­bers) are not sol­diers. They don’t know what is hap­pen­ing on the ground,” Duterte said on Satur­day here, a south­ern is­land un­der mar­tial law.

A day after declar­ing mar­tial law, he de­scribed the nine years of mil­i­tary rule un­der Mar­cos as “very good”, and said his would be sim­i­lar.

He told sol­diers on Fri­day that rock­ets on rebel po­si­tions and a sur­veil­lance drone cir­cled the sky here.

Some civil­ians left on foot, oth­ers tied pieces of white cloth to poles to dis­tin­guish them­selves from mil­i­tants as sol­diers hud­dled be­hind ar­moured ve­hi­cles slowly ad­vanced.

Tens of thou­sands of peo­ple have fled here since Tues­day, when mil­i­tants went on a ram­page seiz­ing a school, a hos­pi­tal, they would be al­lowed to con­duct searches and ar­rests with­out war­rants.

“Dur­ing mar­tial law, your com­man­ders and you can ar­rest any per­son, search any house. There is no war­rant needed.”

Duterte’s com­ments con­tra­dicted a gov­ern­ment state­ment re­leased on Satur­day to ex­plain mar­tial law.

The state­ment from the gov­ern­ment’s in­for­ma­tion agency said: “War­rants of ar­rest or search war­rants should be is­sued. No per­son may be ar­rested and de­tained with­out or­ders com­ing from civil courts.” AFP and a cathe­dral.

Chris­tians were taken hostage, ac­cord­ing to church lead­ers, and more than 100 in­mates, among them mil­i­tants, were freed when rebels took over two jails.

Pro­vin­cial of­fi­cial Zia Alonto Adiong said more than 2,200 civil­ians stranded in their homes by street fight­ing had been send­ing mo­bile phone mes­sages ask­ing to be res­cued and brought to evac­u­a­tion cen­tres. Agen­cies

REUTERS PIC

A civil­ian be­ing car­ried out of Marawi City in the Philip­pines yes­ter­day.

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