Wednesday| June 14, 2017
Solicitor General Jose Calida told the Supreme Court Wednesday that President Rodrigo Duterte's martial law declaration in Mindanao may not be compared to the military rule that the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos declared in 1972.
In his opening statement at the resumption of oral arguments on cases questioning the declaration, Calida said martial law may have given Duterte "flexibility to act in the interest of public safety."
But the President, he said, has assured the public that the rights of residents in Mindanao would be respected amid the implementation of military rule.
"President Duterte likewise ordered [that] the constitutional rights of the Filipino people shall be respected and protected at all times," said Calida, the state's chief counsel, who also defended Marcos' secrecy-shrouded burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani before the High Court last year.
The Marcos regime was marked by killings, enforced disappearances and other forms of human rights abuses. Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, among petitioners against the declaration, also told the court Wednesday of reports of "unprecedented" human rights abuses in Marawi City under Duterte's martial rule.
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SOURCE: ABSCBN, TVNEWS5