Manila Bulletin, Dec 11 2009
Neutering Congress and the Supreme Court:
Statement of Senators Noynoy Aquino and Mar Roxas on the Lifting of Martial Law in Maguindanao
This afternoon Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita announced that the President will lift martial law and the suspension of the writ in Maguindanao effective 9 PM tonight.
The Filipino people deserve praise for the vigilance and scrutiny they have exercised since the Maguindanao Massacre took place, and since the President imposed martial law. Public outrage and devotion to constitutional principles pushed Congress, in particularly the House of Representatives which was uninclined to even meet with the Senate, to assemble in joint session.
During the joint session we saw the government stumble and falter, proving itself willfully ignorant of the law and of the Constitution’s requirements. Focused and fearless reports by the media showed that much more was accomplished to obtain justice for the massacre victims by the Human Rights Commission and by the police and military before martial law was proclaimed.
However, let us not be carried away by feelings of relief over the lifting of martial law. Read the rest of this entry »
Si Governor Grace Padaca ay isang huwaran ng tuwid at maaasahang serbisyo-publiko. Ang desisyong ito ng Second Division ng COMELEC ay isang halimbawa ng sistematikong pagsupil ng Malakanyang sa mga tumutuligsa sa kanilang baluktot at mapagmalabis na pamamahala.
Kamakailan lang, ginawa na rin nila ito sa Bulacan kay Governor Jon-Jon Mendoza, at patuloy nilang pipiliting mapatahimik ang mga nagnanais ng pagbabago. Sinabi ng kanyang mga kalaban na dinaya daw po sila pero hindi naman nila maipaliwanang kung paano sila dinaya. Bukod pa rito, hindi pinahalagahan ng Second Division ng COMELEC ang mga boto ng 31 presinto sa Isabela dahil sa pagkawala o pagkabasa ng kanilang mga balota. Ibinasura rin nila ang mga ebidensyang magdodoble ng lamang ni Governor Grace sa kanyang katunggali.
Sa kabila nito, hindi tayo magpapatinag. Nakita na natin sa Maguindanao ang bunga ng isang gobyernong lulong sa korapsyon at lasing sa kapangyarihan. Galit na galit na ang sambayanang Pilipino. Hindi tayo titigil hanggang mawakasan natin ang katiwalian at kawalan ng pag-asa sa pamamagitan ng pagsulong sa isang pamahalaang malinis at mapagkakatiwalaan.
STATEMENT OF SENATOR NOYNOY AQUINO AND SENATOR MAR ROXAS ON THE DECLARATION OF MARTIAL LAW IN MAGUINDANAO
We are alarmed at President Arroyo’s declaration of martial law in Maguindanao and other parts of Mindanao ostensibly to enforce law and order in the area in the aftermath of the massacre of 57 innocent civilians by ardent supporters of this Administration.
The declaration of martial law does not make sense to us:
a. The recent government pronouncements have been that everything is under control:
i. The AFP, through its spokesperson Lt. Col. Romeo Brawner, declared no more than four days ago that there is no need for the declaration of martial law in Maguindanao or elsewhere in the country because the AFP and PNP are on top of the situation.
ii. Acting Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales declared no more than three days ago that the government’s effort to contain the tension in the province is holding ground.
iii. Ronaldo Puno, DILG secretary, said as late as last night that “no decision had been made” on the declaration of martial law, and suggested that queries be directed to Norberto Gonzales, acting DND secretary. What has changed since then?
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? Read the rest of this entry »
ANC INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT OF SENATOR BENIGNO “NOYNOY” AQUINO III
ON THE MAGUINDANAO MARTIAL LAW
Aquino: We feel that there is no basis for the imposition of Martial Law. There are so many powers vested in the President that could have been done and should have been done instead of imposing Martial Law.
Question: Will there be legal action taken by the LP?
Aquino: We have been discussing this since last night. We have also been misled by statements from the Palace. There were text messages circulating that Martial Law would be imposed. This was denied last night only to be imposed this morning. We read in the papers that the Cabinet doesn’t seem to be united. Secretary Puno is being quoted as Martial Law not being necessary. So we are actually in the midst of a meeting to discuss the appropriate responses and also when the Palace reports to Congress by Monday in response to Constitutional provisions, we want to make sure that there are no “agendas” other than the review of the Martial Law imposition.
Senator Noynoy Aquino’s Official Statement on the Declaration of Martial Law in Maguindanao
For weeks now, the country has shared the shock, horror and agony of the people of Maguindanao over the slaughter of innocents. This national outrage has increased as securing justice faces hurdle after hurdle, both in Maguindanao and in Manila. Our people want justice, and they want results; the government wants us to believe that it must impose Martial Law for justice to be accomplished, and for peace and order to finally prevail in Maguindanao.
Now, for the first time since 1972, the chief executive has seen fit to take this unprecedented step. But unlike 1972, there are many Constitutional safeguards in place to ensure that martial law is an option taken with full transparency and under legislative oversight.
The people of Maguindanao, the people of the Philippines and the troops on this mission, deserve every assurance that this act will, indeed, result in justice being served and peace being restored. If the declaration of Martial Law is not motivated by the enforcement of the rule of law, but is rather an attempt to expand authority by means of the military it will be a grave abuse of power and reckless endangerment of the lives of our brave soldiers.