Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Sereno spoke up about President Rodrigo Duterte’s proclamation of martial law during her speech in Ateneo de Manila University.
The Chief Justice speaks to the Ateneo de Manila University Class of 2017, “The Atenean Facing Martial Law”. http://pic.twitter.com/XTCrYB5riM
— Supreme Court PIO (@SCPh_PIO) May 26, 2017
For the first time, she addressed the President’s proclamation of martial in Mindanao and reminding that there are constitutional protection against the law.
“When properly implemented, this (martial law declaration) should not by itself unduly burden our country.” Sereno stated.
According to her speech, it doesn’t matter whether the proclamation was because of the gunfights or not, it is up to the government if they will let history repeat itself [Marcos’ martial law] let abuse of authority.
“If President Duterte and the aforementioned government authorities avoid the gross historical sins of Mister Marcos and his agents, then our country might reap the benefits of the legitimate use of the provisions on Martial Law in the 1987 Constitution,” the chief justice said.
“As we face the days following President Duterte’s declaration of martial law in Mindanao, it behooves us to ask what we can do in the present, with the time that is given to us, to ensure that the horrors of martial law that followed the 1972 declaration do not happen again,”
she said, urging graduates to act against a permeating “culture, a pattern” of “apathy, rage, and despair.”
“Given the present day, when the possibility of history repeating itself looms imminent, no cause requires your commitment as much as the cause of human rights, justice, and democracy, themes you have aptly chosen,” said Sereno.
“Given the present day, when the possibility of history repeating itself looms imminent, no cause requires your commitment as much as the cause of human rights, justice, and democracy, themes you have aptly chosen,” Sereno continued.
Chief Justice Sereno received her degree in econimics at Ateneo in 1980 during Marcos regime. She delivered a “more lighthearted and general” speech about justice and democracy. She indirectly referred to alleged extra judicial killings under Duterte’s term.
“… Today, people’s fundamental human rights and freedoms, the core of our democracy, face grave and blatant threats. The culture of impunity is on the rise. People are pressured to favor the easy choice over the right choice: expediency over due process; convenient labeling over fairness; the unlawful termination of human life over rehabilitation,” she said.
“You need to make a stand, dear Ateneans. And to make a stand you must act. More than merely ruminating on the idea of justice, I call on each of you to confront the common injustices of our society and seek to address them. I urge you to speak out with truth even against the overwhelming tide of popular opinion and reach out to the oppressed and disenfranchised,” she added.
Department of Foreign Affairs’ new secretary Alan Peter Cayetano has recently defended war on drugs before UN, the secretary denied the EJKs and that the police officers were only doing it for self-defense against armed suspects during drug raid and operations.