Saturday| June 24, 2017
Thirty days of martial law in Mindanao has brought nothing but “horror and misery” in Marawi City, one of the petitioners who questioned President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration before the Supreme Court (SC) said Friday.
“Thirty days of martial law in Marawi City and the rest of Mindanao have aggravated the situation in Marawi City to inordinately horrific and miserable proportions,” Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman said in a statement.
“The mounting deaths and destruction in Marawi City are the aftermath of the declaration of martial law and the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus,” Lagman said.
Duterte issued Proclamation No. 216 on May 23 declaring martial law in Mindanao following the attack of the Maute group in Marawi City.
Lagman claims that the deaths, destruction of properties, and displacement of civilians, could have been avoided if martial law was not declared.
“All of this horror and misery after the declaration of martial law could have been avoided if the President did not precipitately and unwarrantedly declare martial law and the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus which gave the armed forces and police authorities the unnecessary impetus to implement military rule with disastrous consequences,” he said.
Lagman reiterated that the martial law declaration had made the government a “purveyor of terrorist propaganda” when military and defense officials claimed that the Maute wanted to establish an ISIS wilayah or province in Marawi City.
“This propaganda is mainly conjectural and baseless since no less than the ISIS has not reliably acknowledged nor confirmed this projected purpose,” he said, noting that the Philippines is not included in the list of 10 countries that belong to the ISIS-decreed caliphates.
Lagman and his co-petitioners before the SC earlier said there was no sufficient factual basis for the declaration of martial law and the suspension of the privilege of writ of habeas corpus in Marawi City and the whole of Mindanao, as there was no actual rebellion being committed when the proclamation was issued on May 23.
The SC is expected to come out with a decision on or before July 5 in compliance with the constitutional provision that mandates the high court to resolve a petition questioning the factual basis of martial law within 30 days.