Why martial law is not the solution to Mindanao's woes


According to the American historian, Alfred McCoy, the figure of the victims of Marcos’ Martial Law: "3,257 killed, an estimated 35,000 tortured, and some 70,000 arrested." Marcos Martial Law should never be repeated. What difference will it be with Duterte’s? Duterte will either make or break the tyrannical record of Marcos.

Martial Law can never assure that there is no abuse of power in its scope. It will in fact embolden the excess of police and military powers – both proven in our Marcos experience and of the administration's war on drugs. This in fact, is the clear and present danger. 

Voices of discontent

The path that leads to the good of the Republic is following the Constitution. Even the declaration of Martial Law is clearly stipulated and more so the safeguards on how and why it should be implemented. President Duterte's end game on his Martial Law declaration is his stubborn reluctance to hear the side of the law and will continue imposing Martial Law - clearly saying that he will only listen to the PNP and AFP, not to Congress and the Supreme Court.

Sadly, there are already glaring signs of ruthless insinuations on how Martial Law can be done on the ground – encouraging killings, raids, and even rape – from the mouth of the president himself.

There is a need to consolidate the growing voices of discontent, if there is still hope to immediately end this Martial Law, and move towards the original direction of sustaining inclusion of Muslims, Christians and non-believers (and of any Filipino) in integral development based on social justice. In the end, Martial Law is not the solution. 

Our fear of Martial Law is not an act of unfairly judging President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, but rather a way of telling him not to fall into the trap of military calculation that leads to social miscalculations – moving him away from his consistent call for inclusive social change. – Rappler.com

Br. Tagoy Jakosalem, OAR, is a visual artist and sustainability educator. He studied philosophy, finished his theology in 1999, and has been active with the Climate Reality Project of Al Gore. He was instrumental in the formation of heartanonymous.org, an organization involved in holistic rehabilitation response to the families who survived in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda).