18 September 2017

News Story: Duterte warned on martial law talk as protests set

Philippines President Duterte
By Jess Diaz

MANILA, Philippines — 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.”

Read the full story at PhilStar