Sereno orders Mindanao courts to 'remain open'

MANILA, Philippines – Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno on Wednesday, May 24, ordered all courts in Mindanao to remain open following the declaration of martial law in the region.

"In view of the President’s declaration of martial law for 60 days over the entire Island of Mindanao, the 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," Supreme Court Spokesperson Theodore Te said in a statement on Wednesday.

"All judges stationed in Mindanao are directed to report their current and continuing status to the Office of the Court Administrator through their respective Executive Judges," Te added.

President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao late Tuesday following the attack of the Maute Group in Marawi City.

Martial law will last 60 day, Malacañang said. (READ: Martial Law 101: Things you should know)

Before boarding his flight back to Manila, Duterte told reporters in Russia that the imposition of martial law in Mindanao will be no different from martial law during the time of Ferdinand Marcos, sparking fears of human rights abuses during its imposition. 

Duterte cut short his official visit to Russia because of the incident, and was due back in Manila late Wednesday afternoon. –