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Sereno orders Mindanao courts to remain open following martial law declaration

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno on Wednesday instructed courts in Mindanao to remain open following President Rodrigo Duterte's martial law declaration in the region aimed at neutralizing militants linked to the international terror group ISIS.

"[T]he Chief Justice directs all courts in Mindanao to remain open and all judges to remain in station, as far as their local circumstances may allow," the SC Public Information Office said in a statement.

Sereno also ordered Mindanao judges to report their "current and continuing status" to the Office of the Court of Administrator through their executive judges.

The judiciary has an appellate court station in Cagayan de Oro City and a number of courts spread across Mindanao.

Duterte issued the martial law declaration following attacks perpetrated by the Maute group in Marawi City where a joint police-military operation is being conducted against Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon.

The martial rule will be in effect for 60 days, but Congress has the power under the Constitution to revoke it.

The declaration may also be questioned by any citizen before the SC. —KG, GMA News