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MANILA, Philippines – Seven in 10 Filipinos oppose the imposition of martial law to solve the country’s pressing problems at this time, the results of a Pulse Asia Research survey showed.
This is the primary finding of Pulse Asia’s December 2016 Ulat ng Bayan Survey released on Wednesday, January 11.
“The majority sentiment among Filipinos (74%) is one of disagreement with the view that martial law may be necessary now in order to resolve the various problems being faced by the country,” Pulse Asia president Ronald Holmes said in a statement.
He noted that disagreement with the need to impose martial law increased by 10 percentage points in December from September.
“Disagreement with the view that it may be necessary to reimpose martial law in the country becomes more pronounced between September and December 2016 not only at the national level (+10 percentage points) but also in Metro Manila (+13 percentage points) and in Class D (+12 percentage points),” Holmes said.
“Likewise, this observation holds true in the case of both male and female Filipinos (+9 and +10 percentage points, respectively),” he added.
Another notable change, he said, is the lower indecision of Class D on the martial law question, dropping by 8 percentage points from September to December.
Prevailing opinion across all areas, classes, ages
The nationwide survey was conducted among 1,200 adult respondents from December 6 to 11, 2016.
It has a ± 3% error margin at the 95% confidence level, while subnational estimates for each of the geographic areas covered have a ± 6% error margin, also at 95% confidence level, said Pulse Asia.
The respondents were asked to express their agreement or disagreement to the view, “Candidly speaking, it may be necessary now to have martial law to resolve the many crises of the nation.”
Holmes said opposition to a martial law declaration is the “prevailing opinion” in all geographical areas, age groups, and socioeconomic classes.
“Disagreement is more marked among Metro Manilans than Visayans (81% versus 65%) while essentially the same levels of disagreement are posted in other socio-demographic groupings,” Holmes said.
Duterte himself fanned speculation of a return to martial law. In October, he said he wanted to impose martial rule to deal with the drug problem but was told that it was “not feasible.”
In December, Duterte said the President should be given the “sole power” to declare martial law under an amended Constitution.
In the weeks leading to the survey, among the major developments were the Supreme Court decision allowing a hero’s burial for strongman Ferdinand Marcos and the interment of the former president at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, which sparked protests across the country.
Other developments were the resignation of Vice President Leni Robredo as housing chief after she was barred from attending Cabinet meetings, the Senate probe into the killing of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr in his Leyte jail cell, and President Rodrigo Duterte’s support for the police version of what senators and the National Bureau of Investigation had tagged as a “rubout” of Espinosa.
During the survey period, Senate witness Edgar Matobato, a confessed member of the so-called Davao Death Squad, filed a criminal complaint against Duterte before the Office of the Ombudsman for his reported key role in the summary killings of crime suspects in Davao City when he was mayor. – Rappler.com