Saturday, December 5, 2009

Bongbong, Noynoy one in questioning martial law

12/05/2009 | 03:23 PM

Original Story:

The son of the president who once placed the country under nearly 10 years of martial rule and the son of the couple who became the emblems of its opposition had a rare moment of consensus Saturday in questioning President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's declaration of martial law in Maguindanao province.

Both Ilocos Norte Rep. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. and Senator Benigno Simeon "Noynoy" Aquino III expressed misgivings about Proclamation 1959, which placed the province under martial rule and suspended the writ of habeas corpus almost two weeks after the November 23 massacre that left at least 57 people, including 30 journalists, dead. [See: The Ampatuan Massacre: a map and a timeline]

President Arroyo's declaration was the first time any part of the country was placed under martial rule since the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos imposed it upon the whole country in September 1972. [See: Arroyo declares martial law in Maguindanao]

"It is with some concern that we watch these developments in Maguindanao," said Bongbong in a text message. "Kailangang bantayan ng mabuti kung saan gagamitin yung pag-martial law! (We must keep watch over how the administration will use martial law!)"

Questioning the timing of the declaration, Bongbong said, "Baka Hello Garci na naman ang iniisip ni GMA at ng mga kandidato niya (Maybe Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her candidates are thinking of doing a Hello Garci again)." [See: 'Hello Garci' timeline]

Noynoy likewise urged the public to be vigilant, saying in a statement:"The people must demand an explanation of the circumstances that led the administration to resort to this action, how the President intends to use its vast powers, and for how long."

Saying martial law was unnnecessary because Mrs. Arroyo could have easily ordered the swift suspension and filing of charges against those implicated in the massacre, Noynoy called on his colleagues in Congress to meet immediately and review the validity of the declaration.

The Constitution provides that within 48 hours from the proclamation of martial law, “the President shall submit a report in person or in writing to the Congress," which may vote to revoke or extend such proclamation.

"Congress must ask the right questions, and it must act now," Noynoy said. "This is a time for all our people to be sober, discerning, vigilant, and unafraid."

Bongbong's father, the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos, issued Proclamation no. 1081 in 1972, placing the entire nation under martial rule for almost a decade. Noynoy's father, then-senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr., was among the leaders of martial law's critics, but he was assassinated in 1983 upon his return from exile. Ninoy's wife Corazon--better known as "Cory" to many Filipinos--took over the presidency in 1986 when millions of Filipinos rallied around her in a massive show of protest against the Marcos dictatorship. - Johanna Camille Sisante / TJD, GMANews.TV

Original Story:

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