Martial Law: What are your rights under military rule?


President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law in the whole Mindanao after the Maute Group, a radical Islamist group, attacked Marawi City on May 23, 2017.

Duterte is also studying the possibility of including the whole Visayas under martial law if the Maute Group continues to advance outside Mindanao.

The president or the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines is allowed to declare martial law to safeguard the public from aggression or rebellion, and suspend the writ of habeas corpus or the protection of the citizen against illegal detention and imprisonment.

Under martial law, the peoples’ fundamental rights are protected. They are:

  • the right to life
  • the right not to be tortured, nor subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
  • the right not to be subjected to forced labor
  • the right not to be imprisoned for non-payment of debt
  • the right not to be punished for an act which was not yet a crime at the time of its commission
  • the right to be recognized and treated as a person
  • the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion

These fundamental rights cannot be taken even under military rule.

File Photo: President Duterte and Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Lt. General Ricardo Visaya (September 2016)

Source: ABS-CBN

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John Benliro