- About Us
Martial Law in Maguindanao: Arroyo’s latest scheme of terror
Press Release Posted on December 4th, 2009.
For Reference: REP. LIZA LARGOZA MAZA 0920-9134540
Francis Uyanguren (Public Information Officer) 0915-9329407
Rep.Liza Maza of Gabriela Women’s Party today vehemently denounced Malacanang’s declaration of Martial law in Maguindanao through Proclamation No. 1959 calling it Arroyo’s latest scheme of terror.
“Martial law in Maguindanao is unconstitutional. Any declaration of martial law, be it in the entire country or parts thereof, needs the concurrence of Congress. That is grave abuse of authority. PGMA is subverting our Constitution,” Maza said.
Under Proclamation 1959, the writ of habeas corpus was also suspended in Maguindanao province.
“This opens more doors to abuses and human rights violations given the track record of the Arroyo administration. This draconian measure would only imperil more civilians and could be used as a weapon against those who genuinely seek justice for the victims of the carnage in Maguindanao,” Maza said.
Maza cited the Sec 18, Article VII of the 1987 Philippine Constitution that states that martial law can only be declared in cases of invasion or rebellion and only when public safety demands it. Rebellion requires that there is at least taking up of arms publicly directed against an existing government. Furthermore, in the case of lawless violence, the President can only call out on the military to restore order.
Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita had earlier said that “the step was taken in order to avert the escalation of lawless violence in the province and pave the way for the swift arrest of the suspects in the massacre”.
Maza said that the declaration of martial law only manifests the failure of the Arroyo government to bring to justice all those responsible for the massacre of at least 57 innocent civilians in Maguindanao.
Maza also called on her colleagues in Congress to immediately revoke this unconstitutional act of the President. ##