Open Letter to Mainstream Media: Don’t Mislead the Public With Duterte’s Martial Law Remarks
First of all, I’m neither a journalist nor a lawyer. I’m just an ordinary citizen who wants my beloved country to change for the better. So yes, I voted for President Duterte because I strongly believe he is the kind of leader the Philippines needs right now. I may not agree with some of his statements, but I cannot be silent with mainstream media misleading the public.
Just like thousands of (millions probably) Filipinos did, I also watched and listened carefully to President Duterte when he responded to Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno’s letter to him last Monday, where she expressed her concerns over the seven judges that the president has named in his long list of alleged drugs personalities.
For now, let this be another topic for discussion and let me focus on how President Duterte responded. It appears to me that mainstream media (along with anti-Duterte blogs) has obviously reported it to ignite the public to be mad or afraid of the president’s statement on Martial Law. Below is the video clip where he spoke about it, and let’s watch it and analyze this statement further.
“Just because you are the Supreme Court, you order me? I will not follow you. Orderan mo ako? Bahala kayo diyan. I will order the military and the police to save lives. I am not saying that they should kill them. But in the meantime that you are protecting your juries there, there is crime on the streets.”President Duterte said, apparently talking to Sereno.
“Please do not, you say do not create a constitutional issue. There will be. Don’t order me, I’m telling you. I hope you are listening. In this presidency of mine, wala akong dreams dito…Please, wag mo akong orderan. Hindi ako gago. If this continues, pigilan mo ako, o di sige… sige pag nagwala na. or would you rather that I declare martial law?” He added.
But for the benefit of the doubt, let’s answer the million peso question – Can President Duterte declare Martial Law? As Article III, Section 15 of the 1987 Constitution clearly states, “The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended (or proclamation of Martial Law) except in cases of invasion or rebellion when the public safety requires it.”
Once President Duterte declares Martial Law, he should submit a comprehensive report or report in person to Congress within 48 hours of the declaration to justify his order. If the Congress disapproves his order, then Martial Law will be lifted. The Supreme Court also has the right to review the basis for the declaration or suspension of Martial Law.
This is also why I’m glad that Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar released a statement this Wednesday regarding this issue. According to him, President Duterte’s Martial Law remarks is a mere rhetorical question, and that “the president’s campaign against illegal drugs cannot wait for the slow wheels of justice.”
But just as I mentioned earlier, some mainstream media and anti-Duterte blogs quoted him maliciously. One does not need to be a journalism graduate to be able to understand that President Duterte DID NOT THREATEN the Supreme Court that he will declare Martial Law. The truth is, the president is asking if declaring Martial Law will be a better solution.
If you cannot be part of the solution, at least don’t be part of the problem.
The above open letter was sent to us by a certain Julio N. He said he prefers his open letter to be published on our site instead of his Facebook page. He added that he doesn’t want his page to be flocked with Friend Requests and comments because he is seldom online.