Governor Cerilles Supports President Duterte's Declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao

Jun 30, 2017 Peace & Order

“If President Duterte’s aim is to totally wipe out all Islamic fundamentalists/extremists in Mindanao, so be it, let’s support him”, this is the stand of Zamboanga del Sur Provincial Governor Antonio H. Cerilles after the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte placed the whole of Mindanao under Martial Law.

It was recalled last May 23, 2017, amid a Maute Group-related escalation of conflicts in Mindanao as well as recent clashes in Marawi between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Islamist group, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte placed the whole of Mindanao, including Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi, under martial law through Presidential Proclamation 216. The proclamation was announced during a press briefing held in Moscow, where Duterte was on an official visit and the state of martial law will be in effect for 60 days.

According to authorities the declaration was possible given the “existence of rebellion,” and that the step was taken with “the safety, the lives and property of people of Mindanao” in mind. The Implementation is also be pursuant to the 1987 Constitution, which provides for a maximum 60 day-state of martial law without Congress approval for extension, the continuation of government functions, and the safeguard of individual freedoms.

“The Martial Law declared at this time by President Duterte is different from the Martial Law under the late President Marcos imposed on 1972 under Proclamation 1081”, he emphasized that Marcos used the 1935 constitution in his imposition of military rule which was designed for the Governor General or the President to have the powers to suspend and to abolished the Congress and same time suspend the functions of the Judiciary. But Marcos as a Lawyer, he only suspend the Congress but not the Judiciary, he said.

“The Martial Law under President Duterte is based on the 1987 constitution which is limited for only 60 days period and the Congress and Senate as well as the Supreme Court has the authority to monitor the implementation and has the power to suspend or revoke it based on the information given by the executive bodies”, he added.

On December 4, 2009, through Proclamation No. 1959, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo officially placed Maguindanao province under a state of martial law, thereby suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. The step was taken in order to avert the escalation of “lawless” violence in the province and pave the way for the swift arrest of the suspects in the massacre of several civilians and members of the Press.The state of martial law in Maguindanao was lifted on December 13, 2009.The Martial Law imposed by former President Arroyo was also based on the 1978 constitution which is the same with the present imposition under the Duterte administration.

“Let us help and support our authorities the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police to resolved the struggle in Marawi by these terrorist who’s ultimate aim is to destabilized our government and we must be vigilant and cautious in our respective areas so that these enigma will not escalate further to other places and specially here in Zamboanga del Sur”, he said.

“I believe and I’m sure that our Government will win this war against these terrorist and will totally eliminate them as soon as possible and that the law and order of the Republic will be restored and uphold”, he concluded.