The familiar road that is Martial Law

Posted by watchmen
July 24, 2017
Posted in OPINION

During the peak of the 2016 presidential election, many thought those who spoke negatively on the prospect of a President Rodrigo Duterte administration were “jumping to conclusions.”
“Give the man a chance,” they said.
“Look at what he did in Davao,” they said.
With his crude mannerisms and insensitive comebacks, he easily became a champion of the masses.
His imperfections and utter shamelessness makes him “the masa.”
There is no doubt he has the people’s trust and, despite a year where over 10,000 died because of his “war on drugs,” his popularity has not budged.
Today, he gives his second State of the Nation Address (SONA).
The Filipinos that are steadfast in claiming this president is doing more good than bad are the very reason why it was so easy for the president to get Congress to back his request for an extension to Martial Law in Mindanao.
When President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo declared Martial Law following the Ampatuan Massacre in 2009, it only lasted eight days. She lifted the policy knowing Congress would not back her, particularly with a trust rating at the time around -38 percent.
This current president, however, is lucky.
He has the Filipinos’ trust, which makes members of Congress think twice before defying the president.
Who would vote against the request of the “beloved” president to extend Martial Law in order to, as he claims, put an “end to terrorism” in Marawi City?
While the provisions of the 1987 Philippine Constitution allows for the proclamation of Martial Law on the grounds of rebellion or national emergency, we must remain cautious.
Without Martial Law, heinous crimes were already being committed against human rights and, while Lieutenant Colonel Jo-Ar Herrera, spokesman for the military in Marawi City assured the public the rule of law will prevail and the military will continue close coordination with local officials, he wouldn’t even comment on the statement by former Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) member Samira Gutoc-Tomawis who said the Army was committing human rights abuses against the people in Mindanao.
This is such a familiar road and the reason for that is because we’ve already been down this road before./WDJ

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