Hilbay: 2 ex-presidents quelled Mindanao violence sans martial law
Two former presidents, during their time in office, had managed to quell violence in Mindanao without declaring martial law, former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay said Tuesday.
During Tuesday’s oral argument, Hilbay said martial law is about enforcing restraints to the civilian public not fighting the enemies of the state.
He said the proper way to address the threat of a possible regroup of terrorist groups in Mindanao is the calling out power of the President to use the force of the military to prevent such a situation.
Hilbay noted that then President Joseph Estrada did not declare martial law but has managed to capture Camp Abubakar, the stronghold of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
He added that even then President Benigno Aquino III did not declare martial law during the Zamboanga siege but the military has managed to capture over a hundred rebels and violence was quelled.
“During the Zamboanga siege the government did house-to-house combat, massive check points and aerial bombings but no martial law,” former Bayan Muna Representative Neri Colmenares told the high court. Colmenares of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) is representing the second petitioners composed of human rights advocates and members of the Makabayan bloc from Congress.
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