Saturday, December 12, 2009

Ermita: Arroyo could still use martial law, but...

12/12/2009 | 05:41 PM

Original Story:

Martial law in Maguindanao may have been lifted but remains an option for President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo should a similar crisis occur in the future, MalacaƱang said Saturday.

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said Article VII Section 18 is still there for Mrs. Arroyo to avail of as commander-in-chief, should the situation call for it.

“Let’s just say this particular provision of the Constitution is precisely there for the president in her capacity as commander-in-chief to resort to it in case the situation arises. At any time this is something the president can resort to," he said.

However, he stressed that such a decision will not be arbitrary but rather the result of intensive discussion.

“Let’s not have anyone thinking at the drop of a hat this should be resorted to by the president, because this is a serious matter. Every situation is different from the next. Not every situation is the same," he said.

Ermita said that in the case of the lifting martial law on Maguindanao, Mrs. Arroyo approved the recommendation of the eight-member Cabinet executive committee.

Makati Rep. Teodoro Locsin Jr. said the lifting of martial rule in the province proves that the government has already succeeded in quelling the rebellion in the area.

"I hope it would be made a template," Locsin said in an ANC interview. " I would have made it shorter, but anyway."

During the meeting of the National Security Council on Saturday, Ermita said Mrs. Arroyo was “actively presiding" over exchanges.

He recalled her telling them that “if that is what you think you must do, go ahead, prepare the proclamation," and tasked Justice Secretary Agnes Devanadera to prepare it. - JHU, TJD, GMANews.TV

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