Group fears of ‘full-fledged tyranny’ as SC legitimizes martial law extension
A human-rights militant organization on Tuesday said the decision of the Supreme Court (SC) approving the extension of martial law in Mindanao is one of the “ingredients for a full-fledged tyranny.”
With a vote of 10-5, the SC dismissed the four petitions filed by several lawmakers opposing the extension of martial law until Dec. 2018.
“Just as the Duterte-controlled super majority in Congress colluded to approve the extension of martial law last December 2017, the Supreme Court followed through with a rubber stamp to legitimize martial rule, completing the ingredients for a full-fledged tyranny,” Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay said in a statement.
“Another year of martial law in Mindanao will no doubt create a favorable condition for the military to continue its rampage on people’s rights with impunity,” Palabay added as the group cited some documented cases of military brutality under the implementation of martial law.
One of the brutality cases that Palabay cited was the “unruly interference” of the 66th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army and the Philippine National Police (PNP) during a strike on June 2, 2017.
The secretary general recounted that after violently dispersing the group protesters, the military and police operatives said: “This is martial law; we will not honor the labor code.”
“The Duterte regime has resorted to fear-mongering—using alleged terrorists, communists, enemies of the state, and what-have-you—to make palatable its dictatorship. Cuddling closely with his US imperialist master, Duterte is venturing into a politically opportunistic scheme to condition terror and use fear as pretext for a full-blown dictatorship,” Palabay said.
“Martial rule remains as an effective instrument for fascists to usurp power, curtail rights, and perpetrate more injustice and impunity—all while crippling available mechanisms for redress and protest. With Duterte influencing other branches in government to decide favorably according to his whims, the people are left to rely on their collective strength. We remain steadfast in our call to end martial law in Mindanao, and to end all fascist and anti-people policies put forward by this despotic regime,” she added.
The high court said that “public safety” should be determined if there is a need for a martial law proclamation or not.
“They do so by calibrating not only the present state of public safety but the further repercussions of the actual rebellion to public safety in the future as well. The Constitution’s requirement is met when there are sufficient factual bases to hold that the present and past acts constituting the actual rebellion are of such character that endanger and will endanger public safety,” the SC said. /jpv
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