Posted by: JWP | 12/13/2009

Philippines lifts martial law, but militias still vex

By Oliver Teves and Hrvoje Hranjski

Associated Press

December 13, 2009

MANILA, Philippines – — The Philippine president lifted martial law late Saturday in a southern province where 57 people were massacred in the country’s worst political violence, but the area will remain under a state of emergency as authorities investigate a powerful clan and its private army accused in the carnage.

The opposition said President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo made the move to pre-empt possible censure by the Supreme Court. The court had ordered the government to comment by Monday on petitions questioning the legal basis for last week’s proclamation, which allowed police and soldiers to make arrests without warrants.

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