Duterte warned on mar­tial law talk as protests set

The Philippine Star - - NEWS - By JESS DIAZ With Janvic Ma­teo, Jose Rodel Cla­pano, Christina Mendez

Pres­i­dent Duterte’s talk of im­pos­ing mar­tial law na­tion­wide is just a “scare tac­tic” to sti­fle po­lit­i­cal dis­sent, left­ist con­gress­men said yes­ter­day.

Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Car­los Zarate said if any sabo­teurs would join the mas­sive protest rally on Sept. 21, they would most likely be state agents “out to cre­ate chaos and jus­tify the dec­la­ra­tion of mar­tial rule.”

He warned that this was what dic­ta­tor Fer­di­nand Mar­cos did to jus­tify the dec­la­ra­tion of mar­tial law on Sept. 21, 1972.

“Float­ing the idea of a na­tion­wide state of mar­tial law is a tac­tic de­signed to scare our peo­ple and re­duce the num­ber that would par­tic­i­pate in and join the mas­sive rally on Sept. 21, the an­niver­sary of the dec­la­ra­tion of mar­tial law,” Zarate said.

“The or­ga­niz­ers of the protest, par­tic­u­larly the Move­ment Against Tyranny, would not al­low in­fil­tra­tors or sabo­teurs among their ranks that would sab­o­tage the peace­ful gath­er­ing,” he added.

Rep. An­to­nio Tinio of Al­liance of Con­cerned Teach­ers said the mar­tial law state­ments of Duterte and De­fense Sec­re­tary Delfin Loren­zana “are in­tended to counter the grow­ing op­po­si­tion to Duterte’s in­creas­ingly tyran­ni­cal rule, cow cit­i­zens out­raged by the ris­ing death toll due to tokhang and mar­tial law in Min­danao, and dis­suade them from par­tic­i­pat­ing in ral­lies.”

Tinio also warned that Duterte is lay­ing the ba­sis for declar­ing mar­tial law na­tion­wide.

“He is in­sid­i­ously con­di­tion­ing the public to ac­cept that ‘mas­sive protests’ and ‘fight­ing in the streets’ are suf­fi­cient jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for declar­ing mar­tial law, con­ve­niently ig­nor­ing that the Con­sti­tu­tion al­lows for mar­tial law only in cases of in­va­sion or re­bel­lion,” he said.

Tinio added that next week’s planned protest ac­tions could not be con­sid­ered in­va­sion or re­bel­lion. He also urged peo­ple to join ral­lies against ex­tra­ju­di­cial killings and “ris­ing tyranny.”

For party-list group Ka­bataan, Duterte’s mar­tial law pro­nounce­ment “shows his ut­ter dis­re­gard for the brav­ery and sac­ri­fice of those who fought against the Mar­cos dic­ta­tor­ship, which in­cludes his mother who led the an­ti­dic­ta­tor­ship move­ment in Davao.”

“This is noth­ing but a des­per­ate at­tempt to cling to power amidst grow­ing calls for his ouster for his failed poli­cies,” the group said.

But Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Sec­re­tary Martin An­da­nar main­tained that the Pres­i­dent will re­spect the free­dom of ex­pres­sion of ev­ery Filipino who would join protest ral­lies.

An­da­nar re­it­er­ated the Pres­i­dent’s state­ment that pro­test­ers can even burn the ef­figy of Duterte.

“What is im­por­tant is that our coun­try­men will be al­lowed to prac­tice their free­dom of ex­pres­sion,” An­da­nar said in a ra­dio in­ter­view yes­ter­day.

“If they plan to launch protests, the Pres­i­dent said they can protest any­time, any­where they want and how­ever how long, as long as there will be no chaos, no­body will van­dal­ize and they will not de­stroy prop­er­ties,” he added

Duterte’s left­ist al­lies in the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives have re­cently de­serted his su­per­ma­jor­ity in the cham­ber.

#TindigPilip­inas launch

Non-gov­ern­ment or­ga­ni­za­tions, civil so­ci­ety groups, mem­bers of the academe and op­po­si­tion lead­ers will to­mor­row launch them­selves as a group called #TindigPilip­inas to urge peace-lov­ing Filipinos to stand up against the wors­en­ing vi­o­lence and law­less­ness in the coun­try.

“We are alarmed, in­dig­nant and out­raged by the path our na­tion has been led to, a path filled with vi­o­lence, con­tempt for law and hate,” TindigPilip­inas said in a state­ment yes­ter­day.

“We have de­cided to come to­gether and we want this nightmare to end. It is time for our coun­try to stand to­gether, time to stand up and be counted,” they added.

TindigPilip­inas will hold a press con­fer­ence to­mor­row at 10 a.m. at the Kalayaan Hall, Club Filipino in Green­hills, San Juan City.

Dig­i­tal ML mu­seum launch vs re­vi­sion­ism

Var­i­ous or­ga­ni­za­tions also led yes­ter­day the launch­ing of a dig­i­tal mu­seum aimed at ad­dress­ing ef­forts to re­vise Philip­pine his­tory, par­tic­u­larly the atroc­i­ties com­mit­ted by the Mar­cos dic­to­rial regime dur­ing the mar­tial law years.

The mu­seum, ac­ces­si­ble at http://Mar­tialLawMu­seum. ph, is a col­lec­tive ef­fort of var­i­ous in­di­vid­u­als and civil so­ci­ety groups to counter his­tor­i­cal re­vi­sion­ism about mar­tial law.

“We are re­ally in this se­ri­ous prob­lem, not just de­fend­ing the truth but ac­tu­ally deep­en­ing the truth – the truth about our his­tory, the truth about mar­tial law and what hap­pened at the time,” dig­i­tal mu­seum ad­min­is­tra­tor Ar­jan Aguirre said dur­ing the launch yes­ter­day at the Ate­neo de Manila Uni­ver­sity.

“The ini­tia­tive, the mar­tial law mu­seum, is a means not just to in­form but to al­low peo­ple to re­flect and per­haps to form new ad­vo­cates of the truth about mar­tial law… We are ready to en­gage peo­ple who un­der­mine the truth,” he added.

In her key­note ad­dress, for­mer Na­tional His­tor­i­cal Com­mis­sion of the Philip­pines (NHCP) chair Maria Ser­ena Dio­kno said there is hope de­spite the ef­forts to re­vise the truth about the dic­ta­tor­ship.

“There are Filipinos who still refuse to com­ply and will not re­main silent, ei­ther about the past or about the creep­ing au­thor­i­tar­i­an­ism of the present. It is in fact this present that we live in that com­pels us to re­mem­ber our past,” she said.

“What you have es­tab­lished is not a mere pocket of mem­ory, but the en­tire bound­less cham­ber of re­mem­brance that ed­u­cates, em­pow­ers and of­fers hope,” she added, re­fer­ring to the mu­seum.

Dio­kno re­signed as NHCP chair fol­low­ing the de­ci­sion to bury the dic­ta­tor at the Libin­gan ng mga Bayani.

Ac­cord­ing to project pro­po­nents, the dig­i­tal mar­tial law mu­seum will fea­ture works of art, lec­tures, es­says and teach­ing re­sources cu­rated from artists, ex­perts, schol­ars, re­searchers, teach­ers and stu­dents.

The ini­tia­tive will op­er­ate un­der the prin­ci­ples mag-aral, mag­turo and manindi­gan.

“(These are) prin­ci­ples that en­able us to de­fend and strengthen our com­mit­ment to the truth, the sto­ries of mar­tial law,” Aguirre said. –

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