Saturday, December 12, 2009

Martial Law – The GMArtial Law

The declaration of Martial Law in Maguindanao was met with opposition. People went to the streets to rally against what they call as GMA’s clever way to keep the power in her hands.  Senators questioned if the declaration was constitutionally correct.

I am not an expert on the Constitution of the Philippines nor am I in any position to say that the declaration was constitutionally correct or not.  Sadly, I wasn’t very enthusiastic about my Poli Sci course in college.  Plus, the semester is too short to discuss everything about the constitution.  We never really reached the part about Martial Law.  

People say it was constitutional, others say it wasn’t. Constitutional or not, I greatly believe Her Excellency Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo did the right thing. The brutal massacre of those women and media men by the Ampatuans was a good basis to declare Martial Law for me.  In fact, she should declare Martial Law on the whole of Mindanao. The place is just too dangerous.

What is Martial Law? 

Martial Law is the temporary substitution of military authority for civil rule, usually in the time of war, rebellion or natural disaster.    It really is not a law but rather it is merely the substitution of military procedures for the usual procedures of the law and courts.  The law provides the president with this power to protect us from rebellion and invasion or when public safety calls for it.  

Why do we fear it?

We Filipinos are just too afraid of Martial Law. It shouldn’t be that way.  It is a way for the president to defend us.  Well, I couldn’t blame us. Though I wasn’t born at the time when Marcos declared Martial Law, I very much know how he used it to control the people and the country.   Our grandparents told us about the horrors of Martial Law a la Ferdinand Marcos.   Our history books even have a chapter solely dedicated to it.  In fact, up to now, most of the people subjected to those horrors still couldn’t forget about it.  

After days of arguments and calls to lift the declaration, Martial Law was finally liftedeffective 9 PM today. I don’t think the president gave in to their noise. She lifted it because she felt Maguindanao was safer–for now. Though I believe Maguindanao or Mindanao in general will never be safe–only, if the terrorists there are quelled. 

There really is nothing to fear about Martial Law. It’s for our own safety. I believe it is time for us to move on.  We will never forget about the horrors of the Marcos Regime but I am confident to say that it will never happen again.  

Where’s the countrywide Martial Law?  I trust the president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo won’t declare Martial Law unless it’s a matter of national security.  Arroyo using such declaration to maintain the power in her hands was just a big lie that her detractors spread.   Don’t they ever give up?

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