[ADN Statement] On Martial Law Declaration in Southern Philippines

On Martial Law Declaration in Southern Philippines: ADN calls for fundamental rights must be respected and urges for the swift restoration of democratic order


[24 May 2017, Seoul] On Tuesday 23 May 2017, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law on the southern island of Mindanao after an outbreak of fatal violence between members of the Maute group, a radical Islamist organization known as the Islamic State of Lanao that aligns itself with the Islamic State (ISIS), and state forces, leaving three people dead and many injured.


The declaration was announced by President Duterte while on a state visit to Russia. Currently, the government has not drafted an official document to substantiate the declaration of martial law in Mindanao. But President Duterte, during his live Facebook release indicated that, “Martial law is martial law. It will not be any different from what President Marcos did. I’d be harsh.” In addition, on the timeframe of the martial law he indicated that “if it would take a year to do it then we’ll do it. If it’s over in a month I’d be happy.” In which Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said it would be in effect for 60 days.


The Asia Democracy Network (ADN) urges the Philippine government to swiftly restore order and ensure the protection and safety of the people and communities in the Southern region of the Philippines. ADN also expresses concern with the authoritarian rhetoric of President Duterte and affirms that the Philippine constitution indicates that martial law shall not exceed more than 60 days and further extension must be consulted by Congress and that under all circumstances fundamental rights of people shall be respected and implemented.


The Asia Democracy Network and all partners will closely monitor the situation in the Philippines and express our solidarity with the people of Mindanao.


-Asia Democracy Network-