RULE OF LAW, NOT MAR­TIAL LAW

Daily Tribune (Philippines) - - FRONT PAGE -

Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte’s ir­re­press­ible crit­ics are at it again, claim­ing that a de facto mar­tial law is in ex­is­tence as a re­sult of the com­mu­nity quar­an­tine pe­riod us­ing the ridicu­lous proof that re­tired gen­er­als are run­ning the show in the an­ti­coro­n­avirus cam­paign.

The yarn has been rolled out in time for the mark­ing of the mar­tial law dec­la­ra­tion last Mon­day to gen­er­ate rel­e­vance where there is none.

A fully func­tion­ing gov­ern­ment with three in­de­pen­dent branches and the fre­quent clashes that the Pres­i­dent never in­ter­fered in, ex­cept in cases where the Ex­ec­u­tive is in­volved, do not sup­port the au­thor­i­tar­ian bias be­ing lev­eled on the Chief Ex­ec­u­tive.

In many in­stances, Mr. Duterte failed to get what he wished for in Congress and the Supreme Court. This of­ten ends up with the Pres­i­dent re­sort­ing to his patented rant.

Pres­i­den­tial spokesper­son Harry Roque who ex­pe­ri­enced the Mar­cos mar­tial law said the sit­u­a­tion un­der the Duterte ad­min­is­tra­tion is dif­fer­ent from the 1972 mil­i­tary rule.

“I grew up un­der mar­tial law, then took up law school un­der a gov­ern­ment which only had a Con­sti­tu­tion, as Congress and the Supreme Court were all shut down,” he said.

Roque in­stead said that like him most Filipinos have “learned the lessons of mar­tial law,” which was what hap­pened when the in­terim mil­i­tary rule was im­posed on Min­danao in the af­ter­math of the Marawi City siege of 2017.

Con­trary to what the de­trac­tors have been con­jur­ing, the Min­danao mar­tial law frus­trated those shout­ing of au­thor­i­tar­ian rule, since res­i­dents clam­ored for its ex­ten­sion even as the Pres­i­dent sought its im­me­di­ate lift­ing.

What ap­pears to be the beef of the in­con­solable foes in the red and yel­low bands of the po­lit­i­cal spec­trum is the in­ces­sant howl­ing of press free­dom vi­o­la­tions from Rap­pler founder Maria Ressa, since she faces a string of cases in­volv­ing breach of the anti-dummy law and a pri­vate per­son’s com­plaint of cy­ber li­bel, in which both are out of the

Pres­i­dent’s hands.

Ressa, how­ever, is win­ning big by con­stantly putting pres­sure on Mr.

Duterte by col­lect­ing ac­co­lades and awards from lib­eral demo­cratic groups and their al­lies. She even landed on the cover of TIME mag­a­zine as a “Guardian in the War on Truth.”

To the com­mu­nists and the lib­er­als,

Mr. Duterte’s term is a reign of gross abuses on hu­man rights, yet those who are shout­ing the loud­est are en­joy­ing such rights to the fullest.

Filipinos, none­the­less, con­tinue to see a leader who is mak­ing the best out of what he has, to pro­vide them with the best pos­si­ble com­fort.

There is also what is be­ing la­beled as the weaponiza­tion of the law against

Ressa, which can be in­ter­preted as some­thing good, since the op­po­nents of Mr. Duterte be­lieve that they are en­ti­tled to dic­tat­ing on the peo­ple the type of gov­er­nance they should en­joy.

Vice Pres­i­dent Leni Ro­bredo, the sym­bolic head of the yel­lows, kept on with her chat­ter about the yel­low by­word “re­vi­sion­ism,” which she claims is be­ing cul­ti­vated un­der the cur­rent dis­pen­sa­tion.

There is no such thing as a re­shap­ing of his­tory. What is ac­tu­ally tran­spir­ing is that the cold judg­ment of time had ac­tu­ally caught up with the made-up ex­is­tence of the muck­rak­ers.

Re­vi­sion­ism is al­ter­ing the true lessons of his­tory, which is what ex­actly the yel­low mob and the red rebels are try­ing to fos­ter on Filipinos, whose po­lit­i­cal ma­tu­rity had re­sulted to the re­jec­tion of the crit­ics’ stale shib­bo­leths.

“There is no such thing as a re­shap­ing of his­tory. What is ac­tu­ally tran­spir­ing is that the cold judg­ment of time had ac­tu­ally caught up with the made-up ex­is­tence of the muck­rak­ers.

“A fully func­tion­ing gov­ern­ment with three in­de­pen­dent branches… do not sup­port the au­thor­i­tar­ian bias be­ing lev­eled on the Chief Ex­ec­u­tive.

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