Enrile: Without martial law, there could have been more violence in Mindanao
MANILA, Philippines — Without the “deterrent” and “restraining power” of martial law, there could have been more violence in the conflict-stricken Mindanao, former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said Wednesday.
Enrile, a former defense minister during the martial law regime of the late president Ferdinand Marcos, issued the remark after two people were killed and four others were wounded when a grenade exploded inside a mosque in Zamboanga early Wednesday.
Three days earlier, twin explosion jolted a cathedral in Jolo, Sulu that killed at least 21 people and hurt 111 others.
Enrile, who is eyeing a Senate return in the coming May elections, noted that the government must use “violence against violence” in dealing with the perpetrators of terrorism.
“That’s the purpose of your police and your military. Bakit ba tayo meron military? Bakit tayo meron pulis? (Why do we have a military? Why do we have the police) [It is] because the state must have the monopoly of legal violence to control the deviant and aberrant in society,” he said.
Earlier, Malacañang insisted that despite the deadly Jolo blasts, the martial rule Mindanao remains “effective.”
However, Enrile cautioned the government that “martial law alone will not solve the problem.”
“It’s only an initial mechanism to control the situation so that the security forces can work without too much impediments,” he said.
President Duterte declared martial in Mindanao when the ISIS-inspired terrorists laid siege on Marawi City in May 2017. It has been extended twice and the government is now seeking for its extension until the end of the year. /ee
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