January 16, 2017
Bam to gov't: Listen to people's voice on martial law
Sen. Bam Aquino called on the government to seriously take notice of the recent Pulse Asia survey where 74 percent of Filipinos opposed the imposition of martial law.
"Ang mga Pinoy, they are saying ayaw na namin ng martial law, which tells me that people are looking for new solutions," Sen. Bam said during a television interview.
"Hindi ito ang sagot sa lahat ng problema natin, na kapag nagkakagulo, magma-martial law tayo. People are looking for new solutions and better ways of doing things at kaming nasa gobyerno, we owe it to the people to provide these better solutions," he added.
Sen. Bam made the pronouncement after President Duterte declared over the weekend that no one can stop him from declaring Martial Law if the country's drug problems worsen.
The senator believes that President Duterte's vacillating statements on martial law create uncertainty and fear among Filipinos.
Just last month, Duterte declared that placing the country under martial law was far from his mind, adding that Filipino lives did not improve under military rule during the Marcos regime.
At one point, the President said he wanted to take out the provision in the Constitution about Congress and the Supreme Court weighing in on martial law.
"Sometimes when the President talks about these things differently, siyempre nakakakaba ito," said Sen. Bam.
"The image of this administration, with a strong and iron hand, very fierce, very harsh, it leads to thoughts of Martial Law and authoritarianism," he added.
The senator pointed out that the 1987 Constitution is clear when it comes to declaring martial rule, saying it can only be done during invasion or rebellion.
When it comes to eradicating illegal drugs, Sen. Bam said the government can learn from Gawad Kalinga's anti-drug program, which the group has been implementing in its communities for almost a decade now.
"Thanks to this anti-drug program, 90 percent or 1,800 out of its 2,000 communities are drug-free through community empowerment and accountability," said Sen. Bam.
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