Solons:Negros killings may be used ‘as pretext’ to put PH under martial law
MANILA, Philippines — Members of the House Makabayan bloc on Thursday warned that the government may be “setting the stage” for the declaration of a nationwide martial law by using as a pretext the spate of killings in Negros Oriental.
“Ginagamit na pong pretext ‘yung nagaganap na marahas na pamamaslang sa pagdedeklara ng martial law… Magugulat na lang tayo isang araw ang buong Pilipinas na de facto martial law,” Bayan Muna Rep. Ferdinand Gaite said during their weekly press conference at the House of Representatives.
And Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate agreed.
“They are already setting the stage for that… sa katunayan ang buong Pilipinas ngayon ay nasa state of lawlessness, isang level na lang pwede na nilang ideklara ang martial law,” he pointed out.
During the briefing, a victim of violence in Negros – Cedina Isugan – recounted how her husband was killed in December last year.
“”Yung asawa ko pinadapa po, kami pinaupo lang ‘yung mga babae. Pagkatapos pinatayo siya, hinila siya sa likod ng bahay namin, dun po narining namin tatlong putok po, tapos ‘yung pulis po naghanap na po ng sako para lalagyan po ng asawa ko,” Isugan managed to say before breaking down in tears.
Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesman Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo earlier said they are studying the possibility of recommending the imposition of martial law in Negros Island after a series of slayings there.
Fourteen people, including a lawyer, a city councilor, a former town mayor, a village chief, and a 1-year-old boy, were shot dead separately in Negros Oriental province last week, following the July 18 attack by alleged New People’s Army rebels on four police intelligence officers in Ayungon town.
Commission on Human Rights spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia opposed the possible declaration of martial law in Negros Oriental, warning that this could normalize military rule.
“We do not see the need for the President to exercise any assist prerogatives. We would not want a declaration of a state of national emergency nor a declaration of martial law in any part of the country,” she told ABS CBN News Channel in an interview.
Zarate, meanwhile, stressed that the pattern of vilification and crackdown against progressives, as well as militarization, would not solve the armed conflict in the country.
“Kaya nga ang panawagan namin noon pa man, kung talagang gusto ni Pangulong Duterte na wakasan ang rebelyon eh bumalik sa usapang pangkapayapaan,” the third-termer party-list congressman noted.
Zarate said they would file a resolution to call for a House probe into these killings in Negros. /kga
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