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Duterte: I’ll follow any SC ruling on martial law

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte visits the troopers of the 603rd Brigade, 6th Infantry Division (6ID) of the Philippine Army (PA) at Camp Iranun in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao. PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

First published: 10:14 p.m., June 9, 2017

President Rodrigo Duterte said on Friday he would abide by the decision of the Supreme Court on the pending petitions against martial law in Mindanao contrary to the declaration of Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.

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“Of course, we are bound by rules. That’s already the Supreme Court,” Duterte said after speaking to troops in Sultan Kudarat City, 177 kilometers south of Marawi City, site of the siege that was cited as the reason for martial law.

But Duterte hoped the high court would carefully consider the security situation in Marawi that led him to declare martial law.

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“I’m sure that they will take into account the fighting and what’s behind it. What is frightening is the [Islamic State],” Duterte said, reiterating that local extremists have vowed to make Mindanao a province of the terror group.

Despite the terror threat, however, Duterte’s critics petitioned the high court to junk the martial law declaration and restore the writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao.

The petitions led Duterte’s congressional allies to close ranks behind martial law with Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez saying he would defy any interference from the Supreme Court.

But Duterte vowed a return to normalcy as he repeatedly explained to soldiers the legality of his actions and even jokingly pleaded with troops not to stage a coup against him.

“We will restore order in this country,” he had said.

But Duterte changed his mind about allowing Moro separatists and communist rebels to fight alongside government troops against IS terrorism

“I said: ‘Son of a bitch, the shots my soldiers would get might all be in the back, not in front,” he said, adding quickly that it was not a matter of distrust.

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“It’s not because I do not trust them but it simply does not fit into the picture,” he said.

The President said Moro National Liberation Front founder Nur Misuari offered to send 2,000 soldiers, but “I said, never mind.”

“There would be many of us,” he continued, “we would not understand each other. We might end up being the ones shooting at each other.” /atm

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TAGS: Edcel Lagman, Marawi siege, Mindanao martial law, Rodrigo Duterte, Supreme Court
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