“But we want to express our support for the President and the Armed Forces. We must unite”
The declaration of martial law by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte putting the whole of Mindanao (Proclamation 216) to addressed the terroristic activities of the ISIS(Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) in Marawi City has jolted the nation. Fear of what “could be” and “might have been” already abounds the current conversations in the street.
The Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo, made a statement just today calling the Malacañang to give the assurances that the country will not witness again the kind of dictatorship that President Ferdinand Marcos wielded during the time he declared Proclamation No.1081.
“Many are fearful [of martial law] because of our country’s experience with [human rights] abuses. Which is why, in our expression of support, we want to ask for assurances from the administration and the Armed Forces that what happened during the dictatorship would not happen again,” she said
The President in his speech after his State visit to Russia was cut short said that he might also put the whole country under martial law, declaring the Islamic State is here and may gain footholds in Luzon and the Visayas.
The proclamation cited Article 7, Section 18 of the 1987 Constitution granting the president the power to declare martial law in cases of "invasion or rebellion, when the public safety requires it" for a maximum of 60 days.
Committed by rising and taking arms against the Government for the purpose of removing from the allegiance to said Government or its laws, the territory of the Republic of the Philippines or any part thereof, of any body or other armed forces, or depriving the Chief Executive or the Legislature, wholly or partially, of any of their powers or prerogatives.
The Proclamation 216 also takes note that the Maute militants started flying the flag of the Islamic State in several areas, "thereby openly attempting to remove from the allegiance to the Philippine Government this part of Mindanao."
“In our view, there’s no reason to involve Visayas and Luzon,” VP said.
VP Robredo stressed her support to government’s actions to solve the current situation at the ground following the siege of Marawi City by the Maute group.
“We wish to be supportive of the administration because, with the severity of the terrorism problem, now is not the time to quarrel with each other,” she said.
But also, made caution and made references to what she perceives as sentiment of Filipinos regarding the martial law declaration in Mindanao, immediately reconnecting the alleged abuses under the Marcos presidency.
“We will not allow this to be an instrument of violence. We will not allow this to pave the way for the return of the kind of leadership we fought in the past. I hope it does not return,” the Vice President said.
“But we want to express our support for the President and the Armed Forces. We must unite,” she said.