Officials have different views on Martial Law

CEBU, Philippines - Cebu City Officials have conflicting views on the declaration of Martial Law in the Province of Maguindanao.
President Gloria Arroyo signed Proclamation No. 1959 last Friday declaring Martial Law in Maguindanao, likewise, suspending the writ of habeas corpus in the province.
This is to subjugate a rebellion allegedly being planned by the Ampatuan clan, the prime suspect of the massacre.
At least 57 people were reportedly killed in the carnage including media people and some members of the Mangudadatu clan last month.
Mayor Tomas Osmeña is in favor of the declaration to maintain the peace and order in the province following the massacre.
He believed that retaliation is part of the Muslims culture and bloodshed may occur if authorities can not establish strong presence in Maguindanao.
“Delikado gyud kanang away sa Maguindanao, it goes beyond reason, that’s already personalan gyud, so, they have to establish a strong presence,” Osmeña said.
He explained that the declaration of Martial Law can help the limited capability and the lack of manpower of the police and military in the area.
The mayor said that their family was once a victim of Martial Law during the Marcos regime, but he is quite sure that the declaration is only for Maguindanao.
Contrary to the mayor’s opinion, Vice Mayor Michael Rama is totally against the declaration and urged Congress to revoke the proclamation.
Rama said that there’s no need for Martial Law since there was no report in Maguindanao that there was a continuing unabated crimes with impunity in the province.
Aside from the carnage last month, the vice mayor heard nothing about any chaotic situation in the province caused by rebellion.
For this reason, Rama is opposing the declaration for it will add the bad image in the country following the horrible massacre.
“Kay kana man gong tanan mubalik sa national government, wala gyud kinahanglana ang declaration kay aside from allergic ta ana, mugawas nga wala gyud sila kakontrolar sa breakdown sa rule of law diha,” Rama said.
On the other hand, Rep. Antonio Cuenco clarified that he will go with the declaration if it is only intended for Maguindanao and that the imposition of Martial Law is to quell rebellion in the province. Cuenco made it clear that he will look for the features and the specifics of the declaration since, according to him, it’s a serious proclamation.
“Ato gyud nang tan-awon kay dili ko gusto nga maparehas na sa Martial Law ni Marcos, so, atong paminawon unsay mga features niana,” Cuenco said.
The congressman added that if he finds the declaration of the president unnecessary, he will immediately push for its revocation.
Congress will convene today for a caucus to review the report of the declaration if there is basis for the imposition of the Martial Law.
Meanwhile, Rep. Raul del Mar didn’t have a categorical answer if he is in favor or against the declaration of Martial Law in Maguindanao

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