Saturday, December 5, 2009

Senators to Arroyo: No invasion, no rebellion, why martial law?

12/05/2009 | 03:24 PM

Original Story:

Overkill. This was how senators described President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's move of imposing martial law in Maguindanao, almost two weeks after 57 people were massacred in the province allegedly by the Ampatuans and their gunmen.

Senators Francis Escudero, Francis Pangilinan, and Benigno Simeon "Noynoy" Aquino are one in saying that the situation in Maguindanao does not merit the imposition of martial rule because there is neither invasion nor rebellion in the area.

"These are not obviously present in Maguindanao," Escudero said in a press statement released on Saturday. "The current state of emergency would have sufficed to address the clamor for justice for the massacre victims ans restore the rule of law in the province."

Escudero also assailed the appointment of Armed Forces Eastern Mindanao commander Lt. Gen. Raymundo Ferrer as military governor of the province, saying he could not remember at any time in his life that a military commander was asked to take over a civilian elective post.

Pangilinan said Mrs. Arroyo should immediately take back the declaration because all key personalities linked to the November 23 killings are already under police custody.

"The factual basis for a martial law declaration therefore appears to be nonexistent. The Maguindanao massacre is a case of multiple murder involving local government officials loyal to Arroyo. It is clear that invasion or rebellion are the only grounds for a declaration of martial law," said Pangilinan in a text message to GMANews.TV on Saturday.

For his part, Aquino said the people must ask MalacaƱang to explain the circumstances that led Mrs. Arroyo to impose martial law. He said the President must also be asked on how she intends to use the vast powers under a martial rule and for how long does she intend to implement it.

"The rule of law must prevail, constitutional processes must prevail. The courts cannot be abolished there or elsewhere. The President of the Philippines remains accountable not only to the Congress of the Philippines, but to the people of the Philippines for taking this extraordinary course," he said in a statement. - AMITA O. LEGASPI, JHU/ARCS, GMANews.TV

Original Story:

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