Lorenzana: Nationwide martial law ‘very remote’

September 15, 2017 - 3:34 PM
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Delfin Lorenzana
File photo of DND chief Delfin Lorenzana. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

MANILA – Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana said on Friday the possibility of martial law being declared nationwide is remote if it’s just on account of speculative protest actions attributed to the militant left.

“Sa aking pananaw naman, estimate ko – very remote naman mangyari (In my view, in my estimate, that eventuality is very remote).”

Lorenzana did acknowledge that President Rodrigo Duterte has hinted if the militants go as far as mount widespread protest action and cause disorder in the streets, he might be tempted to play the martial law card.

Even so, Lorenzana said, he doesn’t see things playing out this way, because he thinks the radical left is not up to pulling this off, mounting massive demonstration across the country, disrupting the civil government or the lives of people.

Besides, he pointed out, the state of emergency declaration has not been lifted yet on account of the residual insurgency and the drug problem, so the security establishment still has measures that can be resorted to.

For one, check points can be deployed if necessary, he said.

DU30 must blame himself for dissent – Karapatan

In a statement, rights group Karapatan said the Duterte administration was becoming more and more desperate to “quell the legitimate and peaceful protest” of Filipinos against its “anti-people” policies.

The regime was afraid of the growing resistance against Duterte’s “tyrannical rule.”

But, said Karapatan, Duterte had no one else to blame for this dissent but himself.

“His military and police unleashed the slaughter of the poor through the war on drugs… and martial law in Mindanao,” Karapatan said. “Poverty, landlessness, unemployment, inhuman working conditions and meager wages have worsened.”

Should Duterte decide to declare martial law nationwide, he would only speed up his administration’s “demise”.

“The Filipino people have triumphed over dictator (Ferdinand) Marcos’ martial law. Through our unity, courage and determination to uphold people’s rights and genuine democracy, we are certain that the Filipino people will defeat Duterte’s martial law and tyranny,” Karapatan stressed.