Akbayan Party today expressed utmost disappointment over the SC decision finding a legal basis for the declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao.
"We were hoping the Supreme Court would be our last line of defense against a patently absurd decision built on a failure of intelligence and a rhetoric of violent machismo," said Akbayan President Machris Cabreros. "Instead they caved in and unwittingly opened the door to further creeping authoritarianism."
"AKBAYAN maintains that the Marawi incident does not merit the invokation of Martial Law," said Cabreros. "This iron-fisted response is disproportionate to the situation and will worsen inequalities in the region as more vulnerable Moros will again be left homeless and hungry."
Akbayan Chair Emeritus Etta Rosales and Akbayan youth leaders are among the petitioners who filed the case at the SC questioning the legality of ML.
"We must remember that Congress has not convened as well to publicly and officially concur or reject the declaration," she said. "The SC was the last of the available checks and balances to put a brake on this railroaded declaration and opens the door for its expansion nationwide."
"We did not lose to Duterte with this decision,, instead we lost the idea that in times of crisis we exhaust all democratic means before employing draconian measures," said Cabreros. "This is democracy backsliding in real time motion, and it comes in terms of human lives, with hundreds dead by now from bullets and diseases."
"It now falls on the Duterte administration to respect the rule of law and observe restraint in going after the Maute group in order to ensure minimal loss of lives," said Cabreros. "Duterte cannot afford to treat collateral damage as just another given."
"The decision will have the potential to aggravate human rights abuses in Mindanao if local operations are left unchecked," said Cabreros. "Which is why Akbayan Mindanao will be there on the ground guarding democratic rights."
"A militarized solution will never stamp out groups like the Maute terrorists," added Cabreros. "Only peace and development based on justice will bring a brighter future for Mindanao."