As soon as President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao, a political attack dog and hordes of leftist martial law crybabies came out and quickly denounced the declaration. Senator Antonio Trillanes IV says Duterte’s declaration is baseless and that it should have just been localized in Marawi City instead of the entire island of Mindanao. Leftist groups such as Bayan and Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) have called for an immediate end to martial rule and suggested that the government should address the root cause of the problem instead of engaging in violence through martial law, which would only further strengthen US imperialist rule in the region. Frankly, I do not know whether to laugh or cry at these folks. We are given a stupid military strategy coming from a “Sundalong Kanin” on one hand and a conspiracy theory-laced vacuous approach coming from nutcase commies on the other.
Sundalong Kanin Approach
“In this case, we should reject, baguhin niya (Duterte) yung declaration niya na doon lang sa area of conflict.
Kating-kati mag-declare na hindi man lang binigyan ng kaunting panahon yung Armed Forces to give an assessment or control the situation bago mag-declare ng ganun.”
First of all, nowhere in the Constitution does it say that the Armed Forces must first give an assessment or must control the situation before the President can declare martial law. Last I checked, the President is still the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and he has the sole power and responsibility to declare martial law if he deems it necessary to quell rebellion, lawless violence, invasion, as he finds it necessary. Also, if the situation is under control there is no logical need to declare martial law. I don’t know if Trillanes has been smoking crack or sniffing glue or something but the reason why martial law is declared is precisely because the situation is out of control.
With regards to limiting the coverage of martial law only in Marawi Cit,y well as former Senator Kid Tatad said:
“…since the anti-government forces are mobile, limiting the coverage of the proclamation to Marawi City would simply allow the Mautes to seek sanctuary in the neighboring provinces of Mindanao. So, if martial law were to be the answer, then declaring it in the whole of Mindanao, rather than in Marawi alone, would not be indefensible.”
House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez agrees with the coverage of the recent martial law proclamation. He says:
“Marawi is a very small place. If they transfer to a nearby province, then the president will have to declare martial law anew. That’s silly.”
I guess it is no surprise that Trillanes would give a brain-dead suggestion on what area the military should cover in their fight against terrorist groups like the Maute and the Abu Sayyaf. If the allegations against Trillanes are true, that he never had any real combat experience and was mostly a pencil-pusher throughout his military career, then everything makes perfect sense. Perhaps his opposition to Duterte’s martial law declaration is not really coming out from his concern against military abuses but coming out from his role as a paid mercenary whose sole mission is to topple the Duterte government.
Nut Commie Approach
Then, of course, we have the communists. Bayan Secretary-General Renato Reyes Jr. said:
“…we oppose Duterte’s martial-law declaration because it is open to all sorts of abuses by state security forces notorious for human-rights violations. It is a blanket endorsement of so many abuses arising from warrantless arrests, searches and seizures and the filing of trumped-up charges. It threatens to unleash more violence against the people
The various armed conflicts in Mindanao are rooted in decades-old problems of poverty, inequality, discrimination and violations of the right to self-determination. These will ultimately require more than just a military solution. Martial law is not the answer.”
Never mind how Reyes conveniently disregarded the measures in the current Constitution’s provisions on martial law that aims to minimize or prevent the abuses from Marcosian martial law, Reyes seems to imply that the government sees martial law as the final solution to Mindanao’s problems where in fact it is merely an emergency measure to quell violence and unrest in the region. Such fear-mongering from commie groups like Bayan seems nothing but a washed-up talking point merely based on anti-Marcos rhetoric. Last I checked, this is not the 1970s anymore. Kris Aquino has gone Hollywood and martial law doesn’t have the same teeth as it used to have.
Another commie group, Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), says:
“We have every reason to believe that the Marawi siege is a United States government instigated false flag operation in response to President Duterte’s recent moves to veer away from the US and build stronger relations with China and Russia.
we call on President Duterte to revoke his Martial Law declaration as it would only serve the interests of the US. With Martial Law in place and with top US henchmen DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, National Security adviser Hermohenes Esperon and AFP Chief of Staff Eduardo Año in command, the US has a stronger hold on the country’s political and military affairs.”
You have to hand it to these nut commies. They can be quite good in spinning every issue to complement their anti-US rhetoric. I won’t be surprised if in the future they’ll spin Kris Aquino’s Hollywood gig into some secret US operation that would aim to put the Liberal Party back in power so that happy days will be back for America in Philippine affairs. I guess the problem with KMU’s conspiracy theory is that they seem to have forgotten that Duterte calls the shots and not the former generals they want to paint as US henchmen. So screw the facts and the Philippine constitution so long as their favorite boogeyman (America) gets vilified.
Last, but definitely not the least, is the mother of all nuts – The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). The CPP has called on the immediate lifting of martial law in Mindanao and according to their official website:
“The CPP calls on the Filipino people to vigorously oppose Duterte’s martial law declaration in Mindanao and demand its immediate lifting. They must unite all forces to oppose military rule in Mindanao and resist plans to impose all-out authoritarian rule in the country. They must carry out and intensify protest mass actions nationwide, banner the demand to end martial law, assert civilian rule and respect for civil and political rights as well highlight the basic demands of the workers and peasants and other democratic sectors.
In the face of the Duterte regime’s martial law declaration in Mindanao, the necessity of waging revolutionary armed struggle becomes ever clearer. Thus, the New People’s Army (NPA) must be ready to accelerate the recruitment of new Red fighters as Duterte’s martial law convinces more and more people to take up arms against the rotten system. The Party calls on the NPA to plan and carry out more tactical offensives across Mindanao and the entire archipelago.”
A thorough look at the CPP’s statement shows that the CPP is not really concerned about peace in Mindanao. If they truly were then they wouldn’t be calling for more armed struggles yet their pronouncements belie their claim for wanting peace. They seem to be merely riding on the issue to use it as a propaganda tool for its recruitment campaign by using fear-mongering tactics. They also note that:
“With martial law, Duterte has further emboldened the AFP to intensify its campaign of extrajudicial killings, abductions, torture, indiscriminate firing, military occupation of communities, forcible evacuation and hamletting of communities…”
That is so rich coming from a group that routinely does extrajudicial killings, abductions, torture, occupation of private property and extortion of citizens.
But let’s humor these rice and nuts folks for a moment and let’s pretend that they become successful in thwarting military rule in Mindanao. Since they love invoking history by talking about the horrors of Marcosian martial law, let us look back at history when the communists were able to stop military forces fighting against them. When America quit the Vietnam war Saigon fell to North Vietnamese communists. Around the same month when Saigon fell, the communist Khmer Rouge seized Vietnam’s neighbor – Cambodia. The Khmer Rouge then became one of the most ruthless and bloodthirsty regime in Cambodia’s history. At the end of the Khmer Rogue’s rule, somewhere between 2 to 3 million people were killed.
So let’s suppose we heed the call of these rice and nuts folks and get Pres. Duterte to lift martial law in Mindanao, then what? What is there to stop terror groups like the CPP-NPA, MILF, Maute, ASG, ISIS and all these “loser” organizations from destroying life and property? Yet all they and their sympathizers can only come up with is a bumper sticker that says “Martial Law is not the Answer”.
Geez… get real!
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