A “bluff” is what President Rodrigo Duterte is making when he threatened to pull out the military from Marawi City if the Supreme Court ruled against his martial law declaration, a lawmaker said on Monday, June 19.
“The President is just bluffing. Military operations can continue, which is the case in the past, even without martial law,” Representative Gary Alejano of Magdalo said.
He also accused Duterte of “disinformation” in “trying to deceive the people because the calling out powers of the president would not be affected by the adverse ruling of the SC,” referring to the Supreme Court.
Several lawmakers also said that with or without the SC ruling, martial law should be lifted because of the impact of the fighting on the people.
He said Duterte’s constant mention that he would resort to martial anew if needed was a way of conditioning the minds of the people.
“This is dangerous,” Alejano said.
Rep. Teddy Baguilat of Ifugao said the deployment of the military to fight insurgency and terrorism were regular functions of the military.
“We should not equate martial
law declaration to mobilization of troops or make it a precondition to strong counter-terrorism actions,” he said.
Baguilat also said that the troops should remain in Marawi City, even if martial law was lifted, until the city was cleared of the Maute forces and the threat contained.
Partylist Rep. Tom Villarin of Akbayan, Rep. Ariel Casilao of Anakpawis and Rep. Edcel Lagman of Albay stood firm that there was no need for martial law to contain the Maute group.
“The existing security mechanisms of the state is enough to quell the remaining threat of Maute and other terror groups,” Casilao said.
In a memorandum submitted to the Supreme Court, Lagman said confronting and defeating the Maute group did not need the imposition of martial law where there was no actual “invasion or rebellion” when the public safety requires such imposition or suspension and when there is no sufficient factual basis for the same.”
“Moreover, the regime of martial law can drastically result in abuses, atrocities, repression and curtailment of human rights and civil liberties as was the experience during the martial law regime of President Marcos,” he added.
Lagman, together with Alejano , Villarin, Baguilat and Reps. Emmanuel Billones and Edgar Erice have filed a petition asking the Supreme Court to revoke the martial law declaration.