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Hontiveros reminds Duterte on martial law: Walang unli

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Senator Risa Hontiveros on Monday (June 19) chided President Duterte for his latest threat to declare martial for the second time in his term which would be unlimited and patterned after the order of former President Ferdinand Marcos.

“There is no such thing as an indefinite martial law in our constitution and laws. Walang unli (unlimited) martial law,” she said in a text message to reporters.

Even if Duterte was able to implement the type of martial law he wanted, the senator said the President would no longer be enjoying the same public support.

“I am confident that the people will oppose and defeat it. Kung ‘yung original martial law nga ni (former Pres.) Ferdinand Marcos ay tinalo ng mamamayan, ang isang ‘Marcos copycat’ pa kaya?” she pointed out.

Under the 1987 Constitution, the President may, for a period not exceeding 60 days, suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or place the Philippines or any part thereof under martial law in case of invasion or rebellion.

Only Congress, voting jointly and by a vote of at least majority of all its members in regular or special session may revoke or extend such proclamation for a period to be determined by them, if invasion or rebellion still persists and public safety requires it.

Duterte, over the weekend, said he’s willing to withdraw his martial law declaration in Mindanao if the Supreme Court will rule against its continuing implementation.

Hontiveros has been vocal in questioning Duterte’s decision to place the entire Mindanao under martial law saying that such move was disproportionate to the threat posed by the Maute group which is confined within Marawi province.

With a government that has low regard for human rights, the senator likewise has apprehensions on due process and rule of law prevailing under areas covered by martial law proclamation.