Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella says Duterte’s remarks on martial law are ‘not meant to bypass the Supreme Court or the legislative’
MANILA, Philippines (May 29, 2017) — Malacañang gave assurances that President Rodrigo Duterte will respect any decision by the Supreme Court on his declaration of martial law in Mindanao.
“This is not meant to bypass the Supreme Court or the legislative,” said Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella about Duterte’s remarks in Sulu over the weekend that he would only end martial law if the military and police say so.
Abella was holding a press conference on Monday, May 29 in Malacañang.
“Of course he will respect [Supreme Court] but based on his own considerations being Commander-in-Chief,” said Abella in an interview with media after the press conference.
Duterte’s spokesman said the President’s remarks were only meant to emphasize his trust in the military and police as they implement martial law.
“The President meant that those who are truly aware of the situation are the military and the police…It means to say those who have true and accurate reports on which he will depend on will be the military and the Philippine National Police,” said Abella.
Pressed by reporters on the President’s statement, Abella said Solicitor General Jose Calida would also provide an explanation.
A petition filed with the Supreme Court questioning the factual basis of martial law is one recourse for the public to seek a suspension of the President’s declaration.
Based on the 1987 Constitution, the Supreme Court may review the “sufficiency of the factual basis” of the proclamation of Martial Law in an “appropriate proceeding filed by any citizen.”