SC Justice fears movies about terrorism could become reality
“How can the republic survive if there was another kind of threat worse than rebellion or invasion,” a Supreme Court Associate Justice asked Tuesday as he noted that President Rodrigo Duterte’s martial law is already emasculated compared to that of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
The high court is conducting an oral argument on the petition to nullify the one-year martial law extension of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“Like what, your honor?” asked former Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Christian Monsod who was one of the framers of the 1987 Constitution.
“Drone can be operated as far as US attacking some abandoned place in Afghanistan. That is what I see in the internet,” Associate Justice Lucas Bersamin said.
Monsod said a drone, even a million drones cannot threaten the life and survival of the government.
“Oh I watched so many movies like White House has fallen, London has fallen. These are very terrifying realities that could happen in a few years’ time,” Bersamin said, adding that the framers crafted a constitution “that constricted the use of the ultimate power to actual invasion and actual rebellion.”
Monsod pointed out that while the framers did not actually thought of the term “terrorism” when they were in the process of creating the Constitution, they have considered lawless violence which was equivalent to terrorism.
“The reason why the Constitutional Commission said this [martial law] is the ultimate measure is that we believe that there are other lesser power that can be exercised by the President,” Monsod said.
He cautioned the high court to be very careful in opening the door to giving the President the free hand in declaring martial law.
“Once there is martial law, literally, the executive can do anything in that theater of war and the only recourse and measure by which a citizen can protest is afterwards and many damages, injuries and human rights violations have already happened,” Monsod said.
“What if these [movies] become a reality,” Bersamin asked.
“A thousand, a million drones cannot occupy a country,” Monsod said.
“Oh you are so confident,” Bersamin said to which Monsod responded: “I have not seen movies like that.”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.