The Aquino and Marcos families were once fierce rivals a few decades ago, especially on the issue of Martial Law. We all know how Ninoy Aquino suffered in his incarceration during those days of the Marcos dictatorship. The Filipino nation suffered with him, too.
But the times — they are indeed a changin’.
This morning, Malacañang Palace announced that it placed the province of Maguindanáo under a state of Martial Law in the wake of the infamous Maguindanáo Massacre which left more than 50 people killed last November 23. This is the first time Martial Law was declared in any part of the country since Ferdinand Marcos suspended the writ of habeas corpus in 1972.
Both Noynoy Aquino and Bongbong Marcos, whose respective fathers were political foes, were quick to react. Both of them were historically hurt by the unintelligent declaration — which was glaringly declared very late.
Here’s what they have to say about that…
Bongbong, Noynoy one in questioning martial law
The son of the president who once placed the country under nearly 10 years of martial rule and the son of the couple who became the emblems of its opposition had a rare moment of consensus Saturday in questioning President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s declaration of martial law in Maguindanáo province.
Both Ilocos Norte Rep. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Senator Benigno Simeón “Noynoy” Aquino III expressed misgivings about Proclamation 1959, which placed the province under martial rule and suspended the writ of habeas corpus almost two weeks after the November 23 massacre that left at least 57 people, including 30 journalists, dead.
President Arroyo’s declaration was the first time any part of the country was placed under martial rule since the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos imposed it upon the whole country in September 1972.
“It is with some concern that we watch these developments in Maguindanáo,” said Bongbong in a text message. “Kailangang bantayan ng mabuti kung saan gagamitin yung pag-martial law! (We must keep watch over how the administration will use martial law!)”
Noynoy likewise urged the public to be vigilant, saying in a statement:”The people must demand an explanation of the circumstances that led the administration to resort to this action, how the President intends to use its vast powers, and for how long.” GMA NEWS.TV
FULL TEXT OF THE MARTIAL LAW DECLARATION IN MAGUINDANÁO:
Proclamation 1959: Proclaiming a State of Martial Law and suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in the province of Maguindanáo except for certain areas.
Whereas, Proclamation No. 1946 was issued on 24 November 2009 declaring a state of emergency in the provinces of Maguindanáo, Sultan Kudarat and the City of Cotabato for the purpose of preventing and suppressing lawless violence in the aforesaid areas.
Whereas, Sec. 18 Art. VII of the Constitution provides that “in case of invasion or rebellion, when public safety requires it, the President may, for a period not exceeding 60 days, suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or place the Philippines or any part thereof under martial law.”
Whereas, Republic Act 6986 provides that “the crime of rebellion or insurrection is committed by rising publicly and taking arms against the government for the purpose of depriving the Chief Executive or the Legislature, wholly or partially, of any of their powers or prerogatives.”
Whereas, heavily armed groups in the province of Maguindanáo have established positions to resist government troops thereby depriving the Executive of its powers and prerogatives to enforce the laws of the land to maintain public order and safety.
Whereas, the condition of peace and order in the province of Maguindanáo has deteriorated to the extent that local judicial system and other government mechanisms in the province are not functioning; thus, endangering public safety.
Whereas, the implementing operational guidelines of the GRP-MILF agreement on the General Cessation of Hostilities dated 14 Nov. 1997 provides that the following is considered a prohibited hostile act: “establishment of checkpoints except those necessary for the GRP’s enforcement and maintenance of peace and order and for the defense and security of the MILF in their identified areas as jointly determined by GRP and MILF.”
Now, therefore I, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, President of the Republic of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution and by law, do hereby proclaim as follows:
Sec. 1: There is hereby declared a state of martial law in the province of Maguindanao except for the identified areas of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front as referred to in the implementing operational guidelines of the GRP-MILF agreement on the General
Cessation of Hostilities.
Sec. 2: The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall likewise be suspended in the aforesaid area for the duration of the state of
Done in the City of Manila this 4th day of December in the Year of Our Lord, Two Thousand and Nine.
Gloria M. Arroyo
By the President: