Mar­tial law dec­la­ra­tion next week a ‘re­mote pos­si­bil­ity’


The dec­la­ra­tion of a na­tion­wide mar­tial law next week is a “re­mote pos­si­bil­ity,” De­fense Sec­re­tary Delfin Loren­zana said Fri­day.

Wire ser­vice Agence France-Presse, which ear­lier came out with a re­port ti­tled “Philip­pines’ Duterte may de­clare mar­tial law next week: De­fense chief,” has up­dated its story to re­move its ref­er­ence to the pos­si­bil­ity of a dec­la­ra­tion of mar­tial law next week.

Duterte had ear­lier said he would be forced to de­clare a na­tion­wide mar­tial law if the com­mu­nist rebels bring their armed strug­gle to the streets.

“Sin­abi na rin ni Pres­i­dente ‘yan eh. Sabi niya, kung the… mga… ‘yung left, sabi niya, ‘Kung left will try to have a mas­sive protest , mag­sunog sila sa kalsada , they will dis­rupt the coun­try, then I might,” Loren­zana said in a Palace brief­ing.

(The Pres­i­dent has said it. If the left will try to have a mas­sive protest, burn roads, they will dis­rupt the coun­try, then I might.)

“Sin­abi na rin niya ang ra­son eh. But I don’t think — sa ak­ing pananaw na- man, es­ti­mate ko — very re­mote na­man mang­yari (But I don’t think – in my opin­ion, my es­ti­mate– there is re­mote pos­si­bil­ity ),” Lorenza na added.

Re­act­ing to the Pres­i­dent’s threat of mar­tial law, how­ever re­mote, AnakBayan Visayas spokesman Niño Olay­var said they were not sur­prised by Duterte’s pro­nounce­ments, say­ing this was the same “script” used by the late dic­ta­tor, for­mer pres­i­dent Fer­di­nand Mar- cos, who placed the coun­try un­der mar­tial law for sev­eral years.

“The script (Duterte) has is old al­ready. We are not afraid of his threat to use the mil­i­tary to fight against peo­ple bold enough to stand against his ad­min­is­tra­tion as a dic­ta­tor, a tyrant leader,” Olay­var said.

He said the Duterte ad­min­is­tra­tion trans­forms daily into a fas­cist dic­ta­tor­ship and he him­self is be­com­ing a tyrant.

Olay­var en­cour­aged peo­ple to join a mas­sive na­tion­wide protest on Septem­ber 21, the an­niver­sary of the dec­la­ra­tion of mar­tial law by Mar­cos.

Mean­while, hu­man rights lawyer and mar­tial law vic­tim Dem­ocrito Barce­nas warned Pres­i­dent Duterte about mak­ing pro­nounce­ments on the pos­si­bil­ity of declar­ing mar­tial law in a na­tion­wide scale.

“Mr. Duterte must be very care­ful in declar­ing mar­tial law. I am not sure if he is se­ri­ous or bluff­ing but if he in­deed is se­ri­ous in his pro­nounce­ments, then he is fan­ning the fire of peo­ple’s sen­ti­ments against mar­tial law,” Barce­nas said in a phone in­ter­view.

He said there will cer­tainly be re­sis­tance, larger than his fol­low­ers.

“He will meet steep and large re­sis­tance from all sec­tors in so­ci­ety. I don’t think the Ro­man Catholic Church is in fa­vor of mar­tial law, and civil so­ci­ety does not fa­vor it. I am not even sure if he has the full loy­alty of the en­tire Armed Forces. That is why he must be care­ful in declar­ing mar­tial law,” Barce­nas said.

Loren­zana, how­ever, said the Pres­i­dent was only “con­cerned that it (re­bel­lion) might get out of hand.”

“So sabi niya, ‘I might de­clare mar­tial law.’ But I don’t think the pos­si­bil­ity that the left will be able to con­duct a mas­sive ano, mas­sive demon­stra­tion across the coun­try, dis­rupt­ing the civil gov­ern­ment or the lives of the peo­ple, eh hindi na­man sig­uro mangya­yari ‘yun (I don’t think that will hap­pen),” he said.

Var­i­ous groups have an­nounced to stage mass protests on Septem­ber 21 to con­demn the bru­tal war on drugs, al­leged po­lice abuses and hu­man rights vi­o­la­tions, and the Pres­i­dent’s plan to de­clare a na­tion­wide mar­tial law.


Mil­i­tant groups have vowed to take to the streets on Sept. 21, the an­niver­sary of the dec­la­ra­tion of mar­tial law by for­mer dic­ta­tor pres­i­dent Fer­di­nand Mar­cos, amid threats of a pos­si­ble dec­la­ra­tion of mar­tial law na­tion­wide by Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte. Mala­cañang, how­ever, said a na­tion­wide dec­la­ra­tion of mar­tial law next week is a “re­mote pos­si­bil­ity.”

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