“Martial Law is Martial Law ah”
Duterte’s Martial Law adventure is a blatant attempt towards exercise of absolute authority that is, above the law. Duterte repeatedly threatened before to declare martial law if he “is pushed” by circumstances. And today, fresh from Russia, he threatened to widen its scope to include the Visayas and even the entire country.
Despite the assessment by the AFP and the mayor of Marawi City that the situation has been rendered under control, Duterte and his ilk made an overblown presentation of the events that transpired in Marawi City from 3:00- 10:00 PM of May 23, 2017 to use it as reason for declaring Martial Law in the whole of Mindanao, including the islands of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.
In a video-recorded talk, Duterte said, “Martial law is martial law ah. My fellow Filipinos, you have experienced martial law. It could not be any different from what President Marcos did. I’d be harsh.”
Indeed “martial law is martial law”, meaning the principle of civilian authority over the military is put aside. The president who is also the military’s commander-in-chief, rules dictatorially. Though the 1987 Constitution provisions on martial law declaration are clear and strict so as to check abuses, Duterte, who is obsessed with power and brags about his penchant for violating and circumventing the laws and outright disregard of the rule of law, from the time he was a prosecutor until now that he is president, could be worse duplicate of his idol dictator, Ferdinand Marcos, Sr.
But such can only be if the AFP and the PNP would follow him and be all guilty of violating the Constitution and for following illegal orders.
The Filipino people, having suffered 14 years of martial rule by the late dictator Marcos and having successfully overthrown that dictatorship, have the resolve not to allow martial law again in the country. We renew that resolve now and like what happened in Edsa 31 years ago, we enjoin our brothers and sisters in the AFP and PNP in the struggle against this latest attempt to trample upon our sovereign and democratic rights.
We call on the people to remain vigilant as we resist a return to fascist rule. ###
#NeverAgain to Martial Law!
May 24, 2017
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