Philippine Daily Inquirer - - NEWS INQ - By Rafael An­to­nio @rafianto­nio_ —WITH A RE­PORT FROMDJ YAP INQ

Seven out of 10 Filipinos do not see a need for the dec­la­ra­tion of martial law now, re­sults of the lat­est Pulse Asia survey re­leased yes­ter­day showed, amid con­cerns that Pres­i­dent Duterte was lean­ing to­ward au­thor­i­tar­ian rule.

Na­tion­wide, 74 per­cent of 1,200 adult re­spon­dents dis­agreed when asked whether it may be nec­es­sary to have martial law to solve the coun­try’s var­i­ous prob­lems, while 12 per­cent agreed and 14 per­cent were un­de­cided.

The poll found that dis­agree­ment was the ma­jor­ity sen­ti­ment across re­gions (rang­ing from 81 per­cent in Metro Manila to 65 per­cent in Visayas) and so­cioe­co­nomic classes (rang­ing from 76 per­cent among Class D to 67 per­cent among Class E).

Like­wise, dis­agree­ment was the pre­vail­ing opin­ion among men (73 per­cent) and women (74 per­cent) and across age groups (rang­ing from 77 per­cent among ages 25-34 and 45-54 to 70 per­cent among ages 18-24 and 55-64).

The non­com­mis­sioned Ulat ng Bayan survey con­ducted in Dec. 6-11, 2016, had a mar­gin of er­ror of plus-or-mi­nus 3 per­cent­age points.

In Dec. 22, 2016, Mr. Duterte said he wanted the martial law pro­vi­sions in the Con­sti­tu­tion amended to re­move the re­quire­ment of leg­isla­tive and ju­di­cial re­view.

“If I de­clare martial law and there is an in­va­sion or war, I can­not pro­ceed on and on, es­pe­cially if there is trou­ble. I have to go to Congress, I have to go to the Supreme Court if any­body would file a com­plaint to look into the fac­tual [ba­sis of the dec­la­ra­tion],” Duterte said.

“But what if the world is in chaos? That’s why there is martial law, so that only one per­son would be giv­ing di­rec­tions,” he added. “That’s why I want to change that. But there is a safety mea­sure there. I’ll tell you later.”

Con­sti­tu­tional pro­vi­sion

Ac­cord­ing to Sec­tion 18 in Ar­ti­cle 7 of the 1987 Con­sti­tu­tion, the Pres­i­dent may pro­claim martial law and sus­pend the priv­i­lege of the writ of habeas cor­pus to re­pel re­bel­lion or in­va­sion when “pub­lic safety re­quires it” for a pe­riod of 60 days.

Within 48 hours af­ter such dec­la­ra­tion, the Pres­i­dent is man­dated to present a re­port to the Congress in per­son or in writ­ing.

Vot­ing jointly, the Senate and the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives may re­voke the proclama- tion of martial law or the sus­pen­sion of the priv­i­lege of the writ of habeas cor­pus by a vote of at least a ma­jor­ity of all its mem­bers, a process which the Pres­i­dent can­not dis­card.

On Sept. 21, 1972, the late dic­ta­tor Fer­di­nand Mar­cos signed Procla­ma­tion No. 1081 which im­posed martial law na­tion­wide. A day af­ter the ac­tual an­nounce­ment on Sept. 23, about 100 of 400 per­son­al­i­ties were de­tained in Camp Crame.

“The peo­ple have not for­got­ten the atroc­i­ties, re­pres­sion and cor­rup­tion spawned by 14 ig­no­min­ious years of martial law,” said Al­bay Rep. Ed­cel Lag­man, a leader of the “Mag­nif­i­cent 7” in­de­pen­dent mi­nor­ity bloc in the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

“The 74 per­cent of Filipinos who dis­agree with the im­ple­men­ta­tion of martial law in solv­ing press­ing na­tional prob­lems is a cat­e­gor­i­cal sig­nal to the Duterte ad­min­is­tra­tion not to con­sider [re­sort­ing] to a martial law regime,” he said in a state­ment.

Lag­man noted that based on the survey, Filipinos’ re­jec­tion of martial law cut across all sec­tors, show­ing con­sis­tent av­er­ages in all age groups, gen­ders, eco­nomic sta­tus and re­gions.

“The peo­ple have spo­ken,” he said. “Pres­i­dent Duterte and his men must stop talk­ing about tin­ker­ing with the re­vival of martial law.”

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