Lorenzana told: Stand by word there’s no need for nationwide martial law
A day before the 45th anniversary of martial law declaration, opposition senators on Wednesday called on Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana “to stand by his word that there is no need for a nationwide military rule.”
“On the eve of the 45th anniversary of martial law and amid President (Rodrigo) Duterte’s repeated threats to declare it, the opposition bloc in the Senate called on Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana to stand by his word that there is no need for a nationwide military rule,” the senators said in a statement.
The senators noted that during the interpellation on the martial law extension in a Congress joint session last July, Lorenzana gave his assurance to Liberal Party (LP) President Senator Francis Pangilinan that the government will not declare martial law in Luzon and Visayas.
When Pangilinan asked Lorenzana if the dismantling of private armed groups and the New People’s Army (NPA) will lead to the declaration of martial law, the administrator of martial law said no.
“Ngayong mukhang nagbabalak si Pangulong Duterte na magdeklara ng martial law sa buong bansa, dapat panindigan ni Sec. Lorenzana ang kanyang pangako sa Kongreso na hindi ito gagawin ng pamahalaan,” Pangilinan said.
(Now that it seems that President Duterte is planning to declare martial law in the whole country, Sec. Lorenzana must stand by his promise to Congress that the administration will not do this.)
Magdalo Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV also called on Lorenzana to be true to his sworn oath to the republic to serve and protect the nation, its people, and its sovereignty.
A nationwide declaration of martial law is unjustifiable and unnecessary, and rallies on September 21 should not be used as reason for declaring martial law, Senate Minority Leader Senator Franklin Drilon said.
Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros, meanwhile, dismissed Duterte’s statement that the Thursday protests might turn violent. She said that if there will be any violence, it will not come from the pro-democracy forces.
“The September 21 protests aim to stop the climate of violence and impunity under the Duterte government. It is therefore illogical on our part to engage in violent acts. We stand to gain nothing from it. On the contrary, it is those who are pushing for the declaration of martial law and authoritarian rule who will benefit the most from senseless violence,” the lady senator said.
Meanwhile, Senator Bam Aquino underscored that peaceful protests are part of history and democracy.
“Ang mapayapang pagkilos ay bahagi ng ating kasaysayan at ng ating demokrasiya. Ipagpapatuloy namin ito at ang pagprotesta sa kultura ng karahasan sa ating bansa,” said Aquino.
(Peaceful protests have been part of our history and our democracy. We will continue this as well as protesting against the culture of brutality in our country.)
The opposition senators said Duterte earlier said that he will not hesitate to declare martial law nationwide if things go out of hand during rallies on September 21, to which Lorenzana referred as a “remote possibility.” /je
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