Tell it to SunStar: Threat to democracy, peace

THE extension of the imposition of martial law in Mindanao is patently unconstitutional and a threat to democracy and peace in the country.

It is unconstitutional because it failed to meet the constitutional requirements of an actual rebellion or invasion, if public safety requires it. In fact, President Duterte himself declared Marawi liberated from the Maute group in October. This was followed by the end of all combat operations and the start of the city’s rehabilitation.

As to the supposed heightened activities of the New People’s Army, this is nothing new and is better addressed through comprehensive peace negotiations rather than all-out war. Ironically, if the President did not arbitrarily terminate the peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) last month, the fighting would have been significantly reduced, as what happened in the first six months of his term.

The Constitution does not contemplate martial law as a means to strengthen law enforcement, ensure public safety and security, conduct counterinsurgency campaigns, or address threats of lawless violence, however imminent. The President is already granted wide police powers and extraordinary calling out powers on the military for such purposes without having to declare martial law.

If there is no legal and factual basis for martial law, why is the President so insistent on extending it for one whole year?

With the failure of his RevGov plot, it is likely that he is now reverting to his original plan to impose martial law nationwide in order to establish his dictatorship.--Movement Against Tyranny
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