Malacañang hailed the Supreme Court’s (SC’s) decision upholding President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of martial law in Mindanao.
“The High Court has spoken: Proclamation 216 is constitutional,” Palace spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a statement.
“The President is sworn to protect the Filipino people. He will not waver in this commitment to end rebellion, the evil of terrorism and to liberate Marawi,” he added.
With the Supreme Court decision, Abella said that “the whole government now stands together as one against a common enemy.”
He then urged the public to give their full support and cooperation to local authorities to finally flush out the terrorists in Mindanao.
“After all, securing communities is a responsibility that must be shared by everyone,” the Palace official added.
In a majority vote, the high court affirmed Duterte’s declaration of martial law in Mindanao, according to Supreme Court spokesman Theodore Te.
During a press briefing, Te told reporters that 11 justices voted to uphold the President’s declaration, while the three others voted to limit the military rule.
A lone justice, meanwhile, voted to nullify the proclamation altogether.
Duterte placed the entire island region of Mindanao under martial law on May 23, after clashes between government forces and terrorists in Marawi City.
The President had said he was open to extending the duration of military rule in Mindanao, and may even declare martial law nationwide if acts of terror would spill over in other parts of the country.
Under the 1987 Constitution, martial law can only last 60 days. Congress must also vote jointly to either revoke or extend the declaration.