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In recent days, persons in Manila speaking for President Rodrigo Duterte and even the President himself, had been mentioning the possibility of imposing nationwide martial law in the Philippines.

Martial law appears to have become the alternative of Mr. Duterte after widespread opposition, including from the military organization, to his idea of revolutionary government.

In the entire Mindanao, martial law had been extended for one year.

Will President Duterte declare martial law throughout the Philippines sooner than later?

We do not believe that the existing conditions in the native country would justify the declaration of martial law, of which, Filipinos despise due to past experiences.

Empirically, martial rule, when imposed in any nation, marks the beginning of downward spiral of a country’s economy.

It carries along a sense of instability.

Investors pull out capital.

Capitalists leave the host country.

Unemployment will increase.

New investors and capitalists will avoid the country.


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The Philippine Constitution, if it will be respected by Mr. Duterte, provides that the president can place the Philippines or any part of it under martial law or suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus “in case of invasion or rebellion, when the public safety requires it.”

That is according to Article VII, Section 18 of the native country’s fundamental law.

It must be noted that mere threat or imminent danger of invasion or rebellion is not a legal justification for the imposition of martial law.

In fact, even if there is actual invasion or rebellion and the public safety is not threatened, the framers made it difficult for a president to impose martial rule because it is a negative and anti-democratic tool of governance and is easy to be subject to abuses.

Martial law is a fast and easy way to destroy democracy, which, Filipinos fought hard to restore.

Thus, they are shouting “No to martial law!”

But, why is Mr. Duterte showing signs that he is eager to impose martial law throughout the country using the weakened Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA) as justifications?

It may be recalled that upon assuming the presidency in 2016, President Duterte appointed and shared his cabinet with members of known sympathizers of the Communist Party of the Philippines.

His first executive secretary in 2016 (already replaced, but still with the cabinet) was a former member of CPP-NPA.

On his inauguration day, he invited the members of a known group sympathetic to CPP-NPA and sat with them in Malacañang.

After the Maoist-Marxist-Leninist communist ideology failed, both in China and in Russia, the Communist movement in the Philippines likewise became weak, ineffective and, perhaps, irrelevant.

President Duterte initiated peace talks but it was short-lived.

He unilaterally cancelled it.

He complained the CPP was asking for a coalition government.

So, Prof. Jose Ma. Sison, founding chair and principal ideologue of CPP, made a public statement last September against President Duterte, which, landed prominently in the news headlines.

He said that President Rodrigo Duterte was the “worst kind of president” the Philippines has ever had.


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Further, the former professor of the chief executive accused his former student as being on his way to establish “fascist dictatorship” and was “preparing for martial law” in the Philippines.

In addition, Sison criticized the President for failing to fulfill his election promise of eliminating drugs and also accused the Duterte family of being allegedly engaged in big-time smuggling of illegal drugs.

Hence, it is possible, the wounded ego of this president could have influenced his recent decisions against CPP-NPA in the guise of public safety and public interest.

While we do not have objection in classifying CPP-NPA as a terrorist organization if it is indeed engaged in terrorist acts, we are against the imposition of martial law if the reasons are not in compliance with the provisions of the Philippine Constitution and merely to get even with the guy who criticized him of being “the worst kind of president” ever of the Philippines.


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