Nene Pimentel: Nationwide martial law ‘unlikely’ | SunStar

Nene Pimentel: Nationwide martial law ‘unlikely’

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Nene Pimentel: Nationwide martial law ‘unlikely’

Sunday, October 01, 2017

FORMER Senate president Aquilino "Nene" Pimentel Jr. does not see any basis for President Rodrigo Duterte to expand his martial law declaration to cover the whole country.

President Duterte has repeatedly warned his critics from stirring up chaos on the streets and “committing the mistake of staging a rebellion.”

Duterte said he will be “forced’ to impose martial law nationwide under those circumstances.

Under the Philippine Constitution, the president may only declare martial law in case of invasion or rebellion when public safety requires it. The effectivity of the declaration can only last for 60 days. It is also subject to review of Congress and the Supreme Court.

Pimentel, early this week, said he does not see any reason for expanding martial law citing that the Marawi conflict, which Duterte used as basis for declaring martial law in Mindanao, is nearing its end.

"I do not see any reason nganung magdeklara sa martial law sa tibuok Pilipinas, total ang nahitabo sa Marawi karon clearing operations naman gane. See?" Pimentel, who is himself a human rights victim under then President Ferdinand Marcos’ martial law, said.

"Kung magdeklarar sa nationwide martial law, kinahanglan dunay sapat na basehan o tugma na katarungan para makadeklarar sa martial law sa tibuok nasud," the 83 years old Pimentel said.

Pimentel pointed out declaring martial law in Mindanao is acceptable, as this was done to counter the alleged plan of the Maute terror group to create a caliphate in Mindanao.

"Si President Digong sa akong tan-aw, napugos sa pagdeklara sa martial law sa Mindanao tungod kay ang mga Maute camp kaniadto, mga Abu Sayyaf nga armado na mga rebelde na Muslim, sa wala pa siya magdeklara sa martial law, tiaw mo niabot sila sa Bohol?" he said.

"So, sa akong pagtuo, gusto ni President Digong nga pugngan na dili makalaganap o spread out ang mga terroristic activities sa mga rebeldeng Muslim, labina kadtong gasuportahan sa mga ISIS, busa uyon ako na diha sa Mindanao, total makita man sab na wala may abuso, pananglitan kaning interview ninyo karon nako, dili mo tugutan ani sa martial law ni Marcos, pero karon, we are free, so there's a big difference," he added.

Pimentel also cited the difference between the martial law then and now, pointing out that before, if someone is arrested, he or she cannot appear in the court anymore.

"Ang martial law, ang duration niana, naa sa pagtan-aw sa Pangulo kung kanus-a kini mahuman, pero mahimong sudlan usab sa Kongreso, kung mub-an o ideny ba, maoy dakong kalainan, kay sa panahon ni Marcos, wala man kanang check and balance," he said.

Duterte's defense chief Delfin Lorenzana meanwhile assured the public that the chance that President Duterte will declare a nationwide martial law is unlikely.

He said he doubts the Left's capability to stage a demonstration that would be big enough to disturb the whole country.

Published in the SunStar Cagayan de Oro newspaper on October 01, 2017.

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