Gabriela party-list rep hits Enrile’s pitch for easier martial law declaration
MANILA, Philippines — Gabriela party-list Rep. Arlene Brosas on Thursday slammed the pitch of Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Juan Ponce Enrile to return to the 1935 Constitution and relax the legal basis to declare martial law.
For Brosas, Enrile’s proposition is an insult to thousands of martial law victims.
Enrile on Wednesday suggested the scrapping of the 1987 Constitution, reemploying the 1935 charter, and restoring “imminent danger” as sufficient ground for the declaration of martial law before the Senate committee on constitutional amendments and revision of codes.
The Senate panel is conducting public hearings amid moves to amend the post-martial law Constitution and change the government system.
“This proposal spits on the graves of the thousands of martial law victims who died fighting for the Filipino people’s rights during Marcos Sr.’s regime,” Brosasa said.
She later noted, “Wala pang 100 days na nakaupo sa pwesto ang mga Marcos at kanilang alipores, lumalabas na ang tunay na hangarin nito – ang pagsentralisa muli ng lahat ng kapangyarihan sa kamay ng Pangulo.”
(It hasn’t even been 100 days since the Marcoses and their minions assumed office, and their true agenda is already showing – to centralize all powers again into the President’s hands.)
She further argued that the government should not use fear of rebellion and insurgency as an excuse to grant absolute power to the President.
“Hindi ito ang makakasagot sa matinding problema ng bansa, tulad ng malaganap na disempleyo at kahirapan, at kawalan ng pondo sa serbisyong panlipunan,” she added.
(This is not the solution to the country’s grave problems like rising unemployment, poverty, and the lacking funds for public service.)
Women under the 1935 Constitution
Brosas pointed out that the 1935 Constitution was “anti-women” as it did not allow female citizens to vote.
“It seems that the government seeks to silence women by erasing our landmark victory and depriving us of our right to vote. Napakalayo na ng inabante ng kilusang kababaihan, at hindi tayo papayag na paatrasin at tanggalan tayo muli ng mga karapatang dekada nating ipinaglaban,” Brosas said.
(The women’s right movement has already come a long way, and we will not allow ourselves to be forced to take steps backward and have our decades-long fought rights stripped away.)
She then vowed that the Gabriela party-list would continue to oppose attempts “to tinker or overhaul the 1987 Constitution,” especially as they discovered a P30-million allocation for constitutional reform in the proposed budget of the Department of Interior and Local Government.
“We urge the Filipino people to resist attempts to distort history and bring the nation back into yet another dark era of violence and brutality under martial law,” Brosas said.
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