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 »
In recent days, military raids in Maguindanao have revealed much more than high-caliber firearms; the raids have made public 16 homes in Davao City and 14 mansions in Maguindanao, all belonging to the Ampatuans.
While the Ampatuans wallow in splendor and grandeur, their constituents suffer the hardship of squalor and poverty that is prevalent in the third poorest province in the country.
The question is, where did all this wealth come from? Gov. Andal Ampatuan’s Statement of Assets and Liabilities (SALN) for 2002 shows only a net worth of P11 million. As public servants, Gov. Ampatuan and the rest of his family must answer to the people for amassing a suspicious amount of wealth while in power. Read the rest of this entry »
to: Isagani Yambot
Philippine Daily Inquirer
After reading Belinda Olivares-Cunanan’s 10 December 2009 “Political Tidbits” column in the PDI, I was very alarmed to see that Mrs. Cunanan stated as a “fact” that Former President Corazon C. Aquino appointed Andal Ampatuan Sr. as OIC of Maganoy in 1986.
As an avid reader of the PDI, I am disappointed to see such an irresponsible statement printed, whether or not it is attributable to poor research or polluted sources.
What is perhaps more disturbing is that this malicious historical error has been refuted over and over by credible sources even from within your paper.
Furthermore, Fr. Eliseo “Jun” Mercado, OMI, has publicly corrected the outright lie that President Aquino appointed Andal Ampatuan Sr. as OIC.
The truth is that Ampatuan Sr. was already OIC of Maganoy (now Shariff Aguak) and was appointed by the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, when President Aquino came to power. In fact, President Aquino *removed* the Ampatuan patriarch and replaced him with a non-political member of the Ampatuan clan, Datu Bodhi Ampatuan, who served as Chief of Police in Maguindanao.
Fr. Mercado, who was then parish priest and NAMFREL Chairman of Maguindanao, personally told Ampatuan Sr. that the latter was being replaced by President Aquino. Read the rest of this entry »
DISCLAIMER: This text is redacted from Jun Mercado’s blog on GMA News. Read the full text here.
“These were the actual arrangements in the political chess board when the Massacre occurred in the Province of Maguindanao that fateful morning of the 23rd of November 2009.”
Background: What is warlordism?
The Maguindanao massacre brought to the fore the issue of ‘warlodism’ in Muslim Mindanao.
Warlordism in the Philippines, especially in Muslim Mindanao, is primarily based on a feudal system that continues to characterize the power relations not only between clans and families but also between the central power (Manila) and the periphery.
Warlordism is often associated with two major issues. The first issue involves the control over the machineries of the state that includes the security sectors (PNP and the AFP).
The second issue is about lawlessness with impunity.
The ‘warlords’ are sort of ‘sui generis’ – ‘the rule of law’ is understood as the execution of their whims and caprices.
In modern times, the power basis of the warlords is no longer measured by the blood ancestry but by the actual ‘connection’ of the warlords to the all powerful Presidency of the Republic.
People cite the infamous three “Gs” – guns, goons, and gold – in the making of the warlords.
But the sad tragedy is that these three “Gs” are government’s ‘properties’.
Under the present dispensation, particularly in the ARMM, people speak in whisper of yet another ‘G’.
That fourth ‘G’ refers to Gloria or President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Read the rest of this entry »
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?
Read the rest of this entry »
Statement of Rep. Teofisto “TG” Guingona
on the declaration of Martial Law in Maguindanao
05 December 2009
I would like to reiterate my condemnation of the brutal and senseless Maguindanao massacre. Justice must be attained, and it must be attained swiftly. This can be resolutely attained under existing laws and will power on the part of the authorities, without a declaration of Martial Law. They have already suppressed any lawless violence and have already controlled the Ampatuans, as evidenced by the successful raid on their residence and the discovery and confiscation of their arms and ammunition. Again, the wolf has already been defanged. No need for Martial Law.
Under the 1987 Constitution, Martial Law can only be declared when two things are present: (1) the existence of ACTUAL invasion or rebellion, and (2) when public safety requires it. BUT there is no actual invasion or rebellion at the moment. The allegation in Proclamation 1959 that “heavily armed groups in the province of Maguindanao have established positions to resist government troops, thereby depriving the Executive of its powers and prerogatives to enforce the laws of the land and to maintain public order and safety” IS UTTERLY WITHOUT FACTUAL AND LEGAL BASIS. Read the rest of this entry »