Most Filipinos disagree that martial law is necessary to solve various crises in the Philippines based on a recent Pulse Asia Survey.
A December 6-11 face-to-face interview with 1,200 respondents, ages 18 years old and above showed that 74 percent were against the re-imposition of martial law. This is 10 percent higher than the 64 percent in September.
The statement in the survey was: “Candidly speaking, it may be necessary now to have martial law to solve the many crises of the nation”.
The poll had a ± 3 percent margin of error.
Meanwhile, 10 percent agreed that martial law was necessary, 2 percent strongly agreed, and 10 percent were undecided.
Of the 74 percent who disagreed with the statement, 81 percent came from the National Capital Region (NCR), followed by 75 percent from Mindanao, 74 percent from Luzon, and 65 percent from the Visayas.
Among socio-economic classes, the survey got the highest percentage among the “D” groups at 76 percent, followed by the “ABC” group at 75 percent, and 67 percent among the “E” group.
Of the 74 percent who disagreed, 77 percent was included in the “25-24” and “45-54” age group, followed by the “65 & up” with 76 percent, “35-54” with 72 percent, and “18-24” and “55-64” with 70 percent.
Among the predominant issues at the time the survey was taken were:
1. The resignation of Vice-President Maria Leonor G. Robredo on December 4, 2016 as head of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC);
2. The decision of the Supreme Court (SC) by a vote of 9-5 (with one abstention) to dismiss the consolidated petitions arguing against the burial of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB);
3. The investigation by the Senate and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) into the killing of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa, Sr. in his jail cell in Leyte on November 5, 2016 in the course of a search operation for drugs and firearms;
4. President Rodrigo Duterte’s support of the police version of the events that led to the killing of Espinosa;
5. The recommendation by the Senate committee on justice to file kidnapping, murder, and perjury charges against Mr. Edgar Matobato, a self-confessed member of the so-called Davao Death Squad (DDS), who testified that President Duterte was directly involved in extrajudicial killings in Davao City while serving as its mayor;
6. The decision of the High Court to clear three judges included by President Duterte in one of his drug lists on the grounds that their being named as drug protectors was made “prematurely and without evidence” and that the High Court “found no prima facie case has been established against the said judges”;
7. President Duterte’s order to arrest gaming tycoon Jack Lam immediately on charges of bribery and economic sabotage;
8. The Sandiganbayan’s acquittal of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her husband as well as former Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairperson Benjamin Abalos, Sr. in connection with a second graft case filed against them stemming from the botched US$ 329-million ZTE national broadband network (NBN) deal; also acquitted of graft charges by the Sandiganbayan was former Makati City Mayor Elenita Binay in relation to the alleged overpriced purchase of furniture for the Makati City Hall in 1999;
9. The move by Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) Chairperson Jose Vicente Salazar to go on a one-month leave following allegations of corruption in his agency, specifically those raised by former ERC Director Francisco Villa, Jr. in three (3) letters written several months prior to committing suicide on November 9; in his letters, the former ERC Director said he was being pressured to approve procurement contracts and hire consultants without proper bidding and hiring procedures;
10. The appointment of Lieutenant General Eduardo Año, Army chief, as the successor of Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Ricardo Visaya; the new AFP Chief of Staff vowed to support the Duterte administration’s campaign against illegal drugs by ensuring that the necessary military capabilities could be extended to the police and other enforcement agencies to help bring down the country’s drug syndicates;
11. The observance of International Human Rights Day on December 10, 2016 amidst calls for the Duterte administration to end its violent war against illegal drugs which has resulted in nearly 6,000 deaths since July 2016;
12. The election of Trump as the 45th president of the United States (US) following his victory at the polls over former US State Secretary and Senator Hillary Clinton;
13. The impeachment of South Korean President Park Geun-hye arising from accusations of conspiring to extort US$ 69 million from big business in exchange for political favors such as granting presidential pardons to business leaders convicted of corruption charges; and
14. The weakening of the local currency versus the American dollar with the Philippine peso surpassing the P 49 mark on November 2016 following expectations of an increase in US government spending strengthened the US dollar; the increase in headline inflation – due to higher prices of alcoholic beverages and tobacco, housing, water, electricity, gas, and transportation – which, at 2.5% in November 2016, is the highest it has been in 21 months, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).