Majority of Filipinos do not find the need to impose martial law to solve the problems being faced by the country now, a recent survey by Pulse Asia showed.
In its survey conducted from Dec. 6 to 11 last year, 74 percent of 1,200 respondents disagreed with the test statement: “Candidly speaking, it may be necessary now to have martial law to solve the many crises of the nation.”
This was the prevailing sentiment in all geographic areas (65 to 81 percent), socioeconomic classes (67 to 76 percent), age groupings (70 to 71 percent), and among both men and women (73 and 74 percent, respectively), Pulse Asia said.
Only 12 percent agreed with the view that it may be necessary to impose martial rule, while 14 percent expressed indecision.
Disagreement with martial law was also more pronounced, or ten percentage points higher, in December 2016 compared to the previous number in September (64 percent).
Disagreement with martial law was highest in the National Capital Region at 81 percent. Indecision on the issue also eased in class D during the same period.
The survey had a margin of error of ± 3% at 95 percent confidence level.
President Rodrigo Duterte has been repeatedly criticized for his remarks on a possible declaration of martial rule, the latest of which was when he said he wanted to amend the Constitution to allow the President to place the country under martial law without the approval of the Congress and the Supreme Court.
But Duterte had also called the idea of declaring martial law “stupid,” saying it did not improve the lives of Filipinos.
The martial law era under the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos was marred by human rights abuses like forced disappearances and extrajudicial killings, curtailed press freedom, corruption in government, and illegal arrest of opposition forces. CDG