Gov, AFP, PNP Execs Allay People’s Fears; Assures Lawful, Humane Martial Law

Governor Dayanghirang presides the emergency PPOC meeting on May 26 at the Capitol

DAVAO ORIENTAL – Governor Nelson L. Dayanghirang and top officials of the Philippine Army and the police in the province have assured the people of Davao Oriental that the implementation of Martial Law in the province will be “completely different from the Marcos martial law” as they vowed to prevent any violations of human rights. The top officials of the Philippine Army and the police in the province say they “will abide by the rule of law and protect and respect the inviolable human rights of our people.”  

During an emergency meeting of the Provincial Peace and Order Council called by the Governor on May 26, the members of the council, including municipal mayors, have expressed their concerns and sought clarifications from the top military officials in the province on the processes of implementing martial law in the province.

In an earlier statement, Governor Dayanghirang has expressed his “full support” to the President’s martial law declaration, saying he “trust the wisdom of the President to place Mindanao under Martial Law.”

“I urge the people to stay calm as we continue to go on with our normal lives. Our President has assured us that martial law is meant to ensure the safety of the general public. I urge everyone to continue to be vigilant and cooperate with the authorities. You can come to my office or to the offices of your mayors and we will readily extend our assistance if your rights are being violated,” says the governor.

“Let us also continue to sow the seeds of peace so we may reap the fruits of peace in the future. With our strong political will and commitment, let us work together and develop our communities and uplift the lives of our people. I hope all our efforts would truly make a difference for the better, a difference that is sustainable, that will unite our people and bring about a sense of well-being. I hope and pray it will bring us peace, unity, and prosperity our people desire and deserve,” says Governor Dayanghirang.

Col. Reuben Basiao

Philippine Army’s 701st Brigade Commander, Col. Reuben Basiao, stressed that today’s martial law will be a ‘friendly’ Martial Law, allaying the fears of the people that it might be reminiscent to the horrors of Marcos martial law. He said “There is a big difference between the 1972 Martial Law and the one being enforced today”, adding that the 1987 Constitution has already addressed the lapses and limitations of the old 1935 Constitution.”

 “The bottom line is that all the apprehensions from the 1935 constitution were already addressed in the 1987 Constitution,” he said, emphasizing that the Martial Law under the new Constitution contains provisions that protect the rights of the people and only intends to safeguard the safety and security of the people.

Col. Basiao said under martial law, the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus will lawfully be enforced and that it will ensure that the rule of law and human rights are being observed. He said martial law will recognize the supremacy of the civilian authority. He assured that the observance of the law will not supplant the function of the civil courts.  “The function of the judiciary and legislative branches of government will remain the same,” he said.

Members of the PPOC remind the general public to cooperate with the authorities, especially in the conduct of checkpoints. They are discouraging the general public from doing acts that will obstruct authorities from doing their duties.

Although the daily routine here in the province remains the same as normal, the authorities remind the public to continue to be vigilant.

Meanwhile, Governor Dayanghirang called on the mayors and the barangay officials to take advantage of the law to help cleanse the ranks of government who are into the drug business and those who are supporting the rebellion. “You know those people on the ground,” he said, stressing that this moment is the government’s opportunity to suppress criminality and to bring to justice those who have been causing problems to the peace and order in the province.

In the following days, the Provincial Government will issue guidelines for the local officials and the general public in the observance of the martial law. By Karen Lou Deloso


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