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Lanao del Sur

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Ronald Roy — May 31, 2017

With your timely proclamation of martial law over Mindanao, Mr. President, you have shown once again your genuine concern for the welfare of all Filipinos. We hail your decision to nip in the bud ISIS’ masterplan to establish a base of operations in our country. All the anti-ISIS peoples of the world wish you well in your endeavor.

Sadly, a number of your critics in this regard are Filipinos. They are the Liberal Party Yellows, the commies led by Joma Sison (those holed up at The Hague for peace talks) and their armed NPA comrades in our countrysides, including all their leftist sympathizers.

With propaganda and their usual rebellious acts of ambush and extortion, they vehemently oppose your determination to reclaim Marawi City from the Maute group. Former Pres. Fidel Ramos, not surprisingly, is one of your accusers.

But we are not fazed by Manong Eddie’s familiar headline-making rhetoric. Do you remember how he brought down President Erap? He had him impeached then replaced by then VP Gloria Macapagal Arroyo….and look what happened to the country! But he has now grown much older and more politically weak. Just let him do all the innocuous yapping he wants.

Arch critic Sen. Sonny Trillianes says he was not surprised “dahil matagal (ka nang) kating-kating mag-martial law”. Sen. Kiko Pangilinan, whom I recently saw on television holding hands with Sen. Risa Hontiveros, says in effect that helping the poor is more important than saving innocent lives from the merciless onslaughts of head-chopping terrorists. Incidentally, Pangilinan is the “hari-ng-sablay” author of the law exempting persons aged 17 and below from criminal liability.

Hontiveros, on the other hand, foretells that gross human rights violations will surely be committed by ML enforcers. She also teaches that all the rights under due process — like the right to counsel, the right to remain silent, etc. — should be accorded to all ISIS flag-bearing terrorists whose means of war are to burn down churches and government buildings, pillage, rape, torture and behead people all because they are Christians and Jews. Her late husband, an honorable AFP officer, must be turning in his grave.

Technically speaking, PDu30, you are walking a tightrope. Under the Constitution, martial law may be declared only in cases of rebellion and invasion — situations which are debatable as to whether they are factual or not. However, said basic charter’s ML provisions may be deemed outmoded because they were ratified when international terrorism was not yet in vogue, thereby creating an interpretation contrary to your pro-safety convictions.

Be that as it may, Sir, you are presumed to have acted not only in good faith but also judiciously, as the Constitution lodges in your office the exclusive prerogative to proclaim ML.You have promised “harsh implementation of ML”, but we are not worried because we see it as an indispensable way of dealing with an incredibly barbaric and foreign-funded enemy of the State. In a sense, these savages may be liberally considered to be foreign invaders. When the national life is on the line, why not?

It’s good that a great majority of legislators in both houses have ratified your ML proclamation, relying, as they reportedly did, on your judgment based on intelligence reports. It’s also relieving to note that the cited ratification reflects congressional conformity to the will of the people. Proceed posthaste, Sir. Beat back the flames of a vicious conflagration.

There is no question, however, that the theological ideology of ISIS will not be crushed without a determined worldwide opposition. Here at home, the ISIS epidemic may be said to have started in Lanao del Sur, no thanks to the Maute family, but there is no assurance the contagion has not already quietly spread in other parts of the country.

Beyond the borders of Mindanao, citizens are now scared stiff, not knowing whether a crowded public place will be bombed at the precise time they may there be shopping or taking a stroll. Every person who looks and speaks like a Moro is suspect. Even a friendly neighborhood grocer is now suspect. Your resolute purpose, Sir, to wipe them out with no quarters given is very comforting.

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