President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Wednesday said he’s thinking seriously of declaring martial law to address the serious threat to national security posed by the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).
This he said, after two soldiers were killed while allegedly on a relief mission in Quezon province, the Palace said.
Two things: first, isn’t there a peace negotiations ongoing between the camp of exiled CPP-NPA-NDF leader Jose Maria Sison and the GRP or Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP)? What happened to it? Why not even a single news item about its progress or what happened? Why is Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello, the designated emissary of the government with the Reds, not even reporting about it? Second, there is a ceasefire declared by both camps. Why are there clashes between the two groups? Are they not honoring those ceasefire agreements?
The on-going Maoist insurgency here in our country is what you call an intractable insurgency, just like those of the Uyghurs in China, the Kaeks of Thailand, those groups in Myanmar and of South America. Several administrations had tried and yet failed to get serious gains from years of negotiations. Surprisingly, despite these failures, both camps refused to even modify or change the composition of their negotiators and even the mode of negotiations. Imagine, several years of wasting precious time and resources of government as well as efforts made by foreign governments, and only one agreement signed by both camps?
Now, Duterte thinks he really need another Martial law to really put the breaks. Marcos, his idol and predecessor, had used this draconian measure for fourteen years, and History would definitely show what happened to the country afterwards. First, martial law brought down the economy, plain and simple. It fostered what some call cronyism. It brought down the fortunes of the old and encouraged new ones but with strong ties with the political center. The Filipino people are still paying the humongous loans entered into by Marcos cronies until now.
Second, martial law created human rights violations left and right. Amnesty International estimated that 70,000 people had been imprisoned, 34,000 tortured and about 3,500 people killed during Marcos’ dictatorial regime see link.
Third, a whole generation was wiped off the face of the earth due to martial law. It worsened peace and order situation as anti-government attacks continued. Due to the ensuing lawlessness, morale sunk so low in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine Constabulary which even brought the military to permanent destruction.
These are not conjectures–these are facts. Martial law did not bring the Philippines to its golden era—it nearly destroyed the country. And Duterte now is mulling a declaration of such an action.
Answer: 2022. This administration knows that the Duterte brand is no more. They cannot use Duterte anymore to prop themselves to power. Powerful evil forces surround this president, and they already invested several billions and they are now afraid of the possible consequences if Duterte’s group failed to snatch victory come 2022. The only way possible to secure a perpetuation of power is thru martial law. Or so many think.