Speaker tells martial law critics to shut up
If you’re not from Mindanao, shut up.
Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez had this to say to critics of President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of martial law in Mindanao who happen to be not from the southern region.
“Ang dami lang kyaw kyaw, karamihan ng nagrereklamo hindi naman taga-Mindanao!” Alvarez said in a press briefing Tuesday.
(They have a lot to say, most of those complaining are not even from Mindanao!)
Alvarez said residents of Mindanao feel the need to impose martial law in the region due to the threat of terrorism in the south.
“Alam mo, pag taga-doon ka, nafi-feel mo na kailangan talaga, at tama ang ginawa ng Presidente. Pag di ka taga-roon, taga-rito ka, medyo tumahimik ka na lang muna,” Alvarez said.
(You know, if you’re there, you would really feel the need to, and that the President was right in declaring martial law. If you’re not from there, if you’re from here, better keep quiet)
“Concern kami dun. Security namin yun (We are the ones concerned. That involves our security),” he added.
Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano slammed Alvarez for his latest remark defending martial law saying the speaker’s statement is “stuff good only for trolls.”
In a separate press briefing, Alejano said Alvarez’s words mirror the government’s propaganda to shut down opposition from Luzon and Visayas.
“Propaganda ang ginagawa nila para walang makialam na galing sa Mindanao. Makikita mo lang yan sa mga posting ng trolls sa Facebook eh,” Alejano said.
(What they are doing is propaganda, so that no one from Mindanao would intervene. You can only see those kinds of words from the postings of trolls on Facebook).
“In reality, we all care for every Filipino. Kung anong nangyari sa Mindanao (Whatever happens in Mindanao), it will affect us, whatever happened here in Luzon,” he added.
Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin said all Filipinos whether in Luzon, Visayas or Mindanao have the right to have a say on the country’s affairs.
“All Filipinos are entitled. We should be concerned,” he said.
The House leadership led by Alvarez has not been keen for Congress to hold a joint session which may revoke the declaration of martial law in Mindanao, which was prompted by the terror group Maute’s attack in Marawi City.
Alvarez said the 1987 Constitution, which states that Congress in joint session may revoke the declaration of martial law by majority vote, does not expressly require the legislature to convene on the martial law declaration.
He said there is no need for Congress to convene if there would be no opposition from the legislature on martial rule.
“Halimbawa, sabihin ng Kongreso na hindi dapat mag-declare ng martial law. So kailangan namin mag-convene ng joint session. Pero pag wala namang objection, eh bakit tayo mag-ko-convene?” Alvarez said.
(For example, Congress would say martial law should not be declared. So we need to convene in joint session. But if there is no objection, why would we still convene?)
Without a plan for Congress to convene, the lower house approved the motion to constitute itself into a Committee of the Whole House tomorrow Wednesday to tackle President Duterte’s report on the imposition of martial law in Mindanao.
According to Section 137, Rule XVIII of the Rules of the House, the lower House may constitute itself into a Committee of the Whole House upon the motion of the Majority Leader to act upon a bill or resolution.
The following Cabinet officials were invited to brief the Committee of the Whole House on the martial law declaration – Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre III, Transportation Secretary Mark Villar, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial, Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo, Interior and Local Government officer in charge Catalino Cuy, Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, Information and Communications Technology Rodolfo Salalima, national security adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) governor Mujiv Hataman, Court Administrator Midas Marquez, and the Commission on Human Rights chairperson Chito Gascon.
Alvarez and Majority Leader Fariñas earlier said there is no need for Congress to convene if it has no intention of revoking the martial law declaration in Mindanao anyway.
Duterte said he would not listen to Congress or the Supreme Court, even though these were the checks and balances in the 1987 Constitution, adding that he would only listen to the military when martial law has to be lifted. JPV/rga
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