MANILA, Philippines – 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.
WATCH: Presidential Spox Abella says Pres. Duterte will 'respect' any SC ruling on martial law. @rapplerdotcom pic.twitter.com/xSEGd23MiG — Pia Ranada (@piaranada) May 29, 2017
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. (READ: Martial law 101: Things you should know)
"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.” – Rappler.com
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.