Duterte now says he will follow Supreme Court on martial law

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President Duterte speaks with troops of the 603rd Infantry Brigade in Pigcalagan, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 9) — After previously saying he would ignore the Supreme Court and Congress with regard to the declaration of martial law in Mindanao, President Rodrigo Duterte is now saying he will abide by the high court's decision whatever it may be.

Duterte, who was in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao on Friday afternoon, said he was leaving up to the magistrates' judgment whether the declaration of martial rule in the south was necessary or not.

"Pag sinabi ng Supreme Court na hindi okay, eh di  withdraw tayo. Sabihin ko sa mga sundalo withdraw tayo, kasi sabi ng Supreme Court," he told reporters.

[Translation: If the Supreme Court says it's not okay, we will withdraw. I will tell soldiers to withdraw because the Supreme Court says so.]

The President, who is a lawyer, however said he's sure the high bench would take into account the ongoing clash in Marawi before making a decision.

About two weeks ago, he said he would ignore Congress and the Supreme Court when it came to martial law as he would only heed the  advice of the police and the military.

Related: Duterte: I will ignore Supreme Court, Congress on martial law

A few days before that, he had also said that he might keep martial "until the end of my term" should there be no peace in Mindanao.

Related: Duterte: Possible nationwide martial law; could last longer

'Not meant to keep me in power'

Meanwhile, Duterte lashed out at "political parties, personalities" doubting his motives on martial law. He said he did not intend to use martial rule to perpetuate himself in power, In fact, he said, he was "not proud, not happy" to have declared military rule in Mindanao.

The president, though, shared the military's view that the end was near for the Marawi crisis — thus, there would no longer be a need for martial law. However, he did not confirm if the "liberation" of the besieged city would happen on Monday, June 12.

Duterte said it would just be "a matter of days" as the rebels had already been confined by soldiers to just three barangays (villages).

CNN Philippines' Anjo Alimario contributed to this report.