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Philippines: Apex Court upholds martial law



Catholics in Philippines protest death penalty
Catholics in Philippines protest death penalty

The Philippine Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of martial law over the southern region of Mindanao, where government forces are battling Islamic militants.

According to Supreme Court spokesman Theodore Te, 11 justices of the 15-member high tribunal voted to dismiss petitions that challenged the martial law declaration.

“Three justices voted to partially grant the petitions, which alleged that Duterte’s declaration had no factual basis, while one voted in favour of the petitions,’’ Te said.

Te, however, could not give any further information on the reasons given by the 11 justices for upholding the martial law declaration and the suspension of the writ of `habeas corpus’.

Duterte declared martial law over Mindanao on May 23 when hundreds of militants attacked Marawi City, 800 kilometres south of Manila, after government forces tried to arrest a local leader of the Islamic State terrorist group.

More than 460 people have been killed in the battle in Marawi City, while over 300,000 residents have been forced to flee their homes in the municipality and nearby towns.

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