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ACT solons: SC decision paves way for nationwide martial law

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ACT Teachers Representatives Antonio Tinio and France Castro condemned the Supreme Court decision to uphold the extension of martial law in Mindanao, saying it is a prelude to the declaration of military rule nationwide.

The Makabayan lawmakers are two of the petitioners who challenged the extension of martial rule in Mindanao, whose petition was thrown out by the high court in a 10-5 vote.

“This Supreme Court decision is a few steps from a declaration of martial law nationwide. They are now laying the predicate for military rule over the entire country, raising conspiracy theories and fake news of destabilization plots,” Castro said.

“We should be vigilant with the recent attacks against activists and human rights defenders as these attacks may be used as an excuse to expand martial law,” she added.

Tinio said, “Martial law only brings destruction and more human rights violations in Mindanao. Extending martial law will only bring greater devastation and the continuing rise of human rights violations and the number of internally displaced families will rise.”

“Amidst this continuing culture of impunity, civilian government employees suffer the brunt of the government’s anti-people economic policies, they are left deprived of their demand for salary increase and benefits despite also being frontline service providers,” he added.

The 10 Supreme Court justices who affirmed the constitutionality of the martial law extension were Associate Justices Presbitero Velasco Jr., Teresita Leonardo-De Castro, Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin, Mariano Del Castillo, Estela Perlas-Bernabe, Samuel Martires, Andres Reyes Jr. and Alexander Gesmudo.

The five dissenters were Sereno, Jardeleza, Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, Associate Justices Marvic Leonen and Alfredo Caguioa.