Duterte’s memo on troop deployment to Negros, Samar, Bicol baffles Lacson
Sen. Panfilo Lacson said on Sunday that the issuance of Memorandum Order No. 32 is baffling as President Rodrigo Duterte could deploy more military forces in some provinces in the country without the memo.
Duterte recently issued the memo ordering the deployment of more soldiers and policemen to “suppress lawless violence and acts of terror” in Samar, Negro Island, and in the whole Bicol region.
Malacañang cited the number of violent attacks happening in these areas in issuing the memorandum.
Lacson, however, questioned on Sunday the release of the order since the President can call for a deployment of more military forces in the three areas stated without the order.
“Bakit nagkaroon pa ng MO 32 samantalang hindi naman kailangan yun? Uutusan ng Pangulo ang chief of staff o and secretary of national defense: ‘tingnan niyo nga magdala kayo ilang battalion sa Samar kasi may ambuscade pa na nangyayari roon, mga atrocities,” Lacson said in an interview with dzBB.
(Why do we need MO 32? The President can command the chief of staff or the secretary of national defense to deploy more troops, for example, to Samar because there is an ambuscade or some atrocities happening there.)
“Baka naman meron itong mapupuntahan na may lugar na may plano ang Malacanang na kung di man magdeklara ng Martial Law ay mag-suspend ng writ of habeas corpus,” he added.
(Malacañang may have plans to declare martial law or suspend the writ of habeas corpus.)
Lacson, who was a former chief of the Philippine National Police, said that being the commander-in-chief, Duterte could instruct the Armed Forces of the Philippines to send mobile forces in the concerned areas.
If in case that the writ of habeas corpus was suspended, Lacson noted that it only covers those who are “judicially charged” for rebellion.
Despite this, the senator said that he sees nothing wrong with the issuance of Memorandum Order No. 32.
“Wala namang problema kasi nasa Constitution din yan. Kung babasahin natin sa 1987 Constitution may calling out powers ng President, na as the commander-in-chief, pwede niyang tawagan ang Armed Forces of the Philippines para i-suppress ang lawless violence, rebellion sa buong bansa o maski anong parte ng bansa,” he said.
(There is no problem because it is in the Constitution. Under the 1987 Constitution, the President has the power, as the commander-in-chief, to call out the Armed Forces of the Philippines to suppress lawless violence or rebellion nationwide or any part of the country.)
“Kapag may nakita talagang basehan pwede siyang mag-suspend ng writ of habeas corpus at pwede siya magdeklara ng Martial Law (If there is a real basis, he can suspend the writ of habeas corpus, and he can declare martial law),” he added. /ee
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