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08 December 2009

university of the philippines: official statement on the declaration of martial law in maguindanao

Monday, December 7, 2009

Mindful of the need to safeguard and protect the fundamental rights of all those residing in the region affected by the declaration of martial law in Maguindanao, the University of the Philippines urges the government to exercise the strictest discretion in carrying out the enormous power at its disposal as a result of the proclamation, and the greatest transparency in the decision-making process.

While there is a need to achieve a just resolution to the brutal and merciless killings that shocked the nation less than a month ago, the University of the Philippines believes that the proclamation of martial law should be resorted to only if all else has failed.

The University of the Philippines as the national university, with the highest traditions of public service, calls on both Houses of Congress to immediately exercise their constitutional power to review the factual basis for the President‘s proclamation, without regard to any political affiliation, and with regard only to what is right and what is just. We also call on the Supreme Court to speedily resolve, with great fairness and the highest degree of judicial scholarship, all cases that may be filed questioning the proclamation.

More than at any other point in time, what the country needs is an opportunity to trust its public institutions. The University of the Philippines joins the Filipino people in hoping that this trust might soon be restored.

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