Liberal Party Press Conference on Martial Law

TRANSCRIPT OF PRESS CONFERENCE OF THE LIBERAL PARTY

05 December 2009

(Sen. Noynoy Aquino reads the official LP statement on the proclamation of Martial Law in Maguindanao)

QUESTION AND ANSWER

Q: What will be the LP’s move to question the declaration?

NOYNOY: Merong constitutional mandate ito. And one of the safeguards so that we do not have a Martial Law perpetuated on us like in 1972 is that Congress has the ability to provide the check and the balance. So, Congress receives the declaration from the President of why Martial Law was imposed in the country or parts thereof. We review the factual basis then we decide on whether to continue with that imposition or to rescind it. And she cannot set that aside, she has to follow the dictates of Congress. That is the immediate step.

And of course, going to the Supreme Court is another avenue. Any citizen can (go) before the Supreme Court to determine the factual basis for the imposition. So it follows, if there is no factual basis, the imposition can be declared null and void.

Q: Are you in favor of the lifting of martial law?

NOYNOY: Specifically, we think that instead of being able to control the situation and restore peace and order, the imposition of martial law can lead to a worsening of the situation. And we want to emphasize this. Other crimes could be leveled against the accused. Those crimes would have resulted in the category called non-bailable. If it’s rebellion, it’s only the leaders who become non-bailable while the followers can be bailed out. And these are the people who might re-arm themselves and then engage again in terroristic acts. Then how do we handle this situation? So, ni-lessen mo yung crime na i-cha-charge. Ito ang main emphasis namin dito.

MAR: Mag-eelaborate lang ako ha. Lilinawin ko: may problema tayo sa Maguindanao. May masaker na nangyari. May mga natagpuang baril, high-powered na baril, mga bala, libu-libong mga bala, in fact daang-libong mga bala, na pag-aari ng military at ng PNP. May mga warlords doon. Lahat tayo, buong sambayanan, kasama ang Partido Liberal, gusto natin na ayusin ang problema doon. Pero itong pagdeklara ng Martial Law, hindi ito ang tamang pamamaraan. Dahil sa pagpataw ng Martial Law sa Maguindanao, lalong lumala pa ang sitwasyon. Kaya para sa amin, tama, sugpuin natin ang lawlessness, ang mga private armies buwagin natin, alamin natin kung papaano nakarating itong mga bala at high-powered guns dito sa mga warlord na ito, at lahat pa. Alamin natin, file-an natin ng kaso, ikalaboso natin ang mga salarin diyan sa masaker na iyan. Pero ang Martial Law, hindi sagot dito sa mga problema na ito. Firm, effective law enforcement ang sagot.

FRANK: Ang paglaganap ng krimen, o yung masaker, ay hindi po basehan ng martial law. Maliwanag sa ating saligang batas, ang basehan ng martial law ay kung merong invasion o rebellion. Kung walang invasion o rebellion, hindi puwedeng mag-martial law. Sa palagay ko naman, walang makapagsasabi na invader si Ampatuan o rebelde. Ngunit ginawa nila ang Martial Law, gusto nilang ipalabas siguro na si Ampatua’y rebelde o invader. Di naman po siguro maniniwala ang taumbayan o ang Korte Suprema na si Ampatuan ay rebelde o invader. Ang dapat kay Ampatuan, hulihin, sampahan ng kaso sa husgado ng murder, at ipakulong habambuhay. Hindi iyong pinalabas mo na political offender ang Ampatuan. Ngunit iyon po ay isang epekto ng pagdeklara ng Martial Law base sa ginawa ni Ampatuan.

At ang sinasabi nga ni Senator Noynoy Aquino, pag ganoon, kung sasabihin mong rebelde si Ampatuan, lahat ng ginawa na pagpaslang ay masasakop doon sa rebellion. So kaya po sa aming tingin, alam po nila ito. Magagaling ang mga abugado sa Malacañang. Kaya dahilan po sa ganitong sitwasyon, hindi mo maiiwasang isipin na ang Martial Law ay ginawa para cover-up doon sa mga nangyari noong nakaraan, kung saan mayroong culture of impunity, culture of violence doon sa Maguindanao, pinagtatakpan ang dayaan noong 2004 at 2007. Ano ba ang alam ng mga Ampatuan sa dayaan noong 2004 at 2007? Ito kaya ang dahilan kung bakit nagdeclare ng Martial Law, para hindi makapagsalita ang mga Ampatuan kung sila’y iipitin sa kaso ng murder?

Iyan po ang tanong ng taumbayan. Hindi po namin lubos na maisip kung bakit sila po’y nag-declare ng Martial Law. Hindi po kailangan ng Martial Law. Ang kailangan ay strong enforcement of the law.

NOYNOY: Yung mga pabago-bago, ulitin lang natin ha. Puro “in control” ang sinasabi, “situation is okay.” Ang nagbago lang, na-discover yung mga arms cache. Yun lang ang bago. So bakit biglang naging kailangan ang Martial Law?

Q: Justice Secretary Devanadera said the rebellion is in the offing.

NOYNOY: Yung rebellion, if you look into the revised penal code, states that there is a public uprising — hindi intended public uprising, hindi pending public uprising. Ang nakalagay, a public uprising. Under the 1987, I’m informed na wala na yung “imminent danger thereof.”

Q: ????

NOYNOY: Is it overkill? Yes, talagang overkill. Talagang extreme version. Dapat papa-kalmahin mo e. E lalo mong pinapa-tense. Hindi lang in Maguindanao but also in other areas. Kailangan ng justification, yung justification sinasabi: rebellion or invasion. Neither exists. And even kung may rebellion or invasion, when the public interest so requires, hindi automatic iyon. Public safety requires it. Dito, puro pa-kalma, “in control,” etc, tapos sasampahan mo ng pinaka-drastic na measure. Illogical iyon.

MAR: Simpleng-simple. Nagpa-panic na ang Malacañang, di nila alam kung ano ang gagawin. Kaya ginamitan nila ng maso, samantala, martilyo — mabuti, matapat, matuwid, mahusay na paggamit ng martilyo — ang kinakailangan. Imbes na iyon, ginamitan nila ng maso.

NOYNOY: … wag nating kalimutan, may dagdag pa. Any citizen can go before the Supreme Court and question the factual basis for the imposition of martial law. Ngayon, ano ba yung experience namin dito. Pare-pareho tayong first time under the 1987 constitution.

Q: Having said that, having considered the option of going to the supreme court, would you say na medyo madali for the government, for the administration to get to concurrence congress dahil yung past experience niyo na nga, yung allies niyo sa Lower House?

NOYNOY: Mahirap naman to prejudge. Pero babalik na nga dun e. Sakin indefensible. Kailangan may public uprising to constitute rebellion. Wala namang foreign power na dumating sa Maguindanao, so hindi pwedeng invasion. So pano papatunayan yan? Sinong rebeldeng tinutukoy diyan? Ano bang public uprising na yan? Sakin alam ko may massacre. Yung massacre is a crime, a heinous crime, punishable under the revised penal code, not constituting rebellion.

(15:00)

Q: Do you think cover-up lang yung doon sa arsenal na nadiskubre doon sa mga Ampatuan?

NOYNOY: Kaya nga napapaisip ka dahil Martial Law. Ang dating definition noon ay “military rule.” Ang military nga ang dapat magpaliwanag paano napunta doon.

Tapos sila ang magbabantay ng ebidensya o kaya’y sila rin ang maghahanap ng ebidensya? Medyo meron nga pong tinatawag doon na conflict of interest at dapat maiwasan iyon. Pero ayan na nga, parang lalo pang sinagad.

FRANK: Kaya ho kami po ay nananawagan na sa lalong madaling panahon na buwagin na at ibasura na ang Proclamation 1959 na nag nagdi-declare ng Martial law sa Maguindanao.

Sa lalong madaling panahon ibasura ang Proclamation 1959, dahilan po na walang silbi itong ginawa nila at pananakot lamang sa taong bayan.

Q: Hindi ba po kaya napakatagal pa yung araw ng Lunes para magpatawag ng joint session ang congress para talakayain itong Martial Law?

NOYNOY: Ang problema, bukas ng gabi pa namin matatanggap yung explanation as required by the constitution. Parang alas-nueve pa ng gabi ang pinag-uusapan.

At parang first time, since the constitution has been promulgated, that such a situation calls for it.

Mas maganda sana at mas madali, pero kung dulo noon ay hindi mo rin ma- konbena at wala ang mga miyembro dahil Monday pa magbabalikan, medyo may problema po iyon.

Q: Sabi po kanina ni Senator Pimentel may caucus pa kayo ng Monday morning ng 8 o’clock at sa hapon pa po yung joint session, tama po ba?

NOYNOY: Made-determine ng caucus. Ang understanding ko ang majority leader ng senate and majority leader ng house ay nag-uusap na para nga ma-syncronize yung schedule.

MAR: Ang mahalaga rito, itong joint session na ito ay hindi maging stamp pad ni GMA. Dapat tanungin ang mga katanungan na ito. Dapat usisain, alamin lahat ng makabagbag damdamin na sagot na ito. Sa ganoong paraan malalaman ang buong katotohanan. Hindi sila makakatago dito sa Executive Privilege. Kapangyarihan ng Kongreso rito na alamin kung ano ba ang basehan. Bakit nila sinasabi na may Rebelyon? Bakit nila sinasabi na may invasion na siyang basehan sa pagpataw ng Martial law?

FRANK: Just a point doon sa sinasabi ni Sec. Agnes Devanadera na imminent invasion or insurrection. Sabi nga kanina ni Senator Noy, Under Article 134 of the Revised Penal Code: the crime of rebellion or insurrection is committed by rising publicly and taking arms against the government for the purpose of removing the allegiance to the said government or the laws, the territory of the Philippines or any part thereof, or any body of land. So, kailangan rising publicly and taking up arms. That is how rebellion and insurrection is defined. Rebellion is such the imminent taking up of arms or imminent danger thereof. Walang ganoon. Ang nakalagay sa Saligang Batas only invasion or rebellion, not imminent. And rebellion is defined as being committed by rising publicly and taking up arms.

So, that is not a justification. What Sec. Devanadera mentioned is not a justification for Proclamation 1959.

Q: May ilan po sa amin na hindi pa naka-experience ng martial law so, we don’t know how the process works. Paano po magwowork yung joint session of Senate and House? Kung sakaling numbers game lang po siya, ang dami pong allies ni GMA sa Congress.

NOYNOY: Let’s say matanda kami sa iyo ng bahagya. Pare-pareho lang tayong first time under this constitution. In 1935 walang ganoong check. In 1987 constitution binigyan.

So, may joint session. Pagbobotohan, su-suportahan mo yung proclamation na iyon o hindi. Pagni-release iyon ng kongreso, the President may not set aside the filings of congress.

Yung sinasabi nating numbers game, huwag natin kalimutan na may dagdag pa. Any citizen can go before the Supreme Court and question the factual basis of the imposition of Martial Law. That is another check. Ano bang experience namin? Pare-pareho tayong first time under the 1987 constitution.

Q: [… 21:09]

You know anything can happen no? That’s why you still have the check and balance afforded by the third branch which is the Judiciary.

Q: E sir young Supreme Court puro GMA-appointed justices din po. Pano po yun?

Masyado naman natin piniprejudge yung Korte Suprema. Babalik na nga tayo dun e. Sakin, ulitin ko, ano ba katotohanan dito? Kailangan patunayan ng session na may rebellion.  Maski gano ka namang ka-rabid na follower ni GMA, ikaw magtatangol na may rebellion. E pano gagawin yun kung wala?

Q: [… 21:50]

Yung politika lang no? AFP through Col. Brawner, its spokesperson, said no need to declare Martial Law in Maguindanao or elsewhere in the country because the AFP and PNP have it under control. Norberto Gonzales declared three days ago, yung government’s efforts to contain the tension are holding ground. Sec Puno said as of last night no decision has been made on the imposition of Martial Law. Sinabi na nga, there is no change. You will know that none of them have ever mentioned rebellion or invasion, the necessary prerequisites for imposing martial law.

Q:  Sir, sabi po ng Justice Secretary, yung rebellion naman daw ay wala pang nangyari. Pero yun daw ay kanilang pangharang daw muna para mapigilan talaga nang tuluyan yung pagkakaroon ng rebellion.

Under 1987, hindi pwede imminent danger thereof, yung  malapit nang mangyari. Kailangan—maliwanag e—may public, actual public uprising, taking up of arms defined by the Revised Penal Code under Article 154.

Q: Sir, another question. May pagsabog na naganap ulit sa Jolo Sulu. Do you think magsispillover dun yung—idedeklara din yung martial law dun sa ibang lugar?

NOYNOY: Kagabi napaisip ako nun nung unang sinasabing pinag-uusapan yung Martial Law. Maguindanao lang. Kung wala masyadong umalma dito sa Maguindanao, baka naman magspill over yung violence sa neighboring provinces or in other provinces. Kung pwede sa Maguindanao, kailangan din ng martial law sa ibang lugar. Baka bandang dulo niyan magspill over sa Metro Manila. So again, that’s why we are calling the people to be vigilant, to start taking to their representatives who should be representing them, not anybody else, and make their concerns and their voices heard. Puntahan lahat ng mga kongresista’t mga senador na hinalal: ito ang pananaw namin sana kumatawan kayo sa gusto namin.

FRANK: This is a bold prediction of Sen Drilon, not of the Liberal Party: I don’t expect congress to lift Martial Law by voting to end Martial Law. Given the fact that under the constitution, ang kailangan joint voting. Ibig sabihin ang dalawampu’t apat na senador ay tig-iisang boto. Ang mga congressmen, tig-iisang boto. So in a joint session, talo ang Senado, at lamang ang mga kaalyado ng Pangulong Arroyo sa Kongreso. We are not very optimistic, and we boldly predict that Congress will sustain by a vote of the majority of congressmen: martial law. Now, so ang pag-asa na lang natin is the Supreme Court who will now review the factual basis. So maghanda po tayo, tatagal itong Martial Law sa Maguindanao, kung hindi po ibasura ng pangulong Arroyo mismo yung Proclamation 1959. I do not expect Congress to revoke the proclamation. And the Senate as a body cannot do anything because they vote jointly. So tatagal ito.

MAR: Ganunpaman, gagawin namin ang lahat, kami na kasapi ng Partido Liberal, pagdating ng panahon, ng joint Congress, kami po ang Partido Liberal at ang aming mga kaalyado, gagawin namin ang lahat para mapakita na maling-mali talaga itong pag-martial law na ito. Sisiguruhin namin na malalaman ng taumbayan ang kapalpakan na ito. Gagawin namin ang lahat para makabuo ng koalisyon na siyang magtutulak ng pag-revoke nitong martial law na ito.

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5 Responses so far

  1. 1

    […] the ability to overcome Great Fear? As we chant, “never again,” the question remain, is our French Defense too slow? Tags: 2010 elections, Ampatuan Massacre, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, maguindanao, martial law […]

  2. 2

    Loy Castillo said,

    sana naman makonsensiya ang mga senador at kongresman at wag nilang patulan ang panloloko no GMA sa taong bayan dapat ay ma lift ang martial law sa maguindanao at hulihin na lng ang mga may kasalanan sa masaker

  3. 3

    sychitpin said,

    when fighting evil, holy water is not enough, sometimes poison is also the best antidote against poison, offense is the best defense

  4. 4

    […] Source: noypipol.wordpress.com […]

  5. 5

    […] Full Transcript of Press Conference of the LIberal Party […]


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