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Philippines high court refuses immediate ruling on state of emergency decree

[JURIST] The Philippines Supreme Court on Tuesday deferred a ruling on petitions brought against the state of emergency [Proclamation 1017 text; JURIST report] declared by President Gloria Arroyo [official website; BBC profile] last week. Arroyo, who today said the decree will remain in effect at least until Saturday [Manila Times report], said the move was necessary to resist a coup plot which resulted in the arrest of 16 people [JURIST report] earlier this week. Critics of the declaration who were concerned with the possibility of unwarranted arrests and an infringement on political freedom called the move unconstitutional.

Philippines Supreme Court [official website] Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban refused to issue a restraining order on the proclamation, saying that due process required the court to hear the other side. He gave the government until Monday to submit responses, and set oral arguments for Tuesday. AP has more.

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