BALANGA CITY: Local reporters are one in condemning terrorism and called a stop to it but expressed different views on the imposition of martial law in Mindanao in the wake of the Marawi City seige.
“Martial Law is necessary to maintain peace and order and cut off terrorist activities that have been haunting Mindanao for decades,” pointed out veteran reporter RaffyViray, president of the Bataan Press Club and Philippine Star correspondent.
“If Martial Law is the right thing to do to fight lawlessness and destroy terrorist groups in Mindanao, so be it,” Mhike Cigaral, vice-president of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines-Bataan, said, adding he hopes the basic rights of citizens will not be violated.
Jun Bringula of DWIZ considered martial law not necessary in quelling terrorism in Mindanao. He said that the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police have proven in the past that they can quell lawlessness.
“Innocent civilians will be affected and investors may be discouraged. Police and the AFP can do what has to be done without martial rule,” he said.
Bringula expressed belief that the imposition of martial law is giving recognition to the Maute Group. “This means that they are really a force to reckon with and the more IS will give them assistance,” the veteran radio reporter added.
“Is martial law the last resort? Has government exerted all efforts to curb terrorism?,” Zeny Soriano, president of Bataan PNP Tri-Media, asked.
Soriano who publishes the provincial newsweekly Bataan Prime Star said poverty drives people to join extremist groups. “They are encouraged to join the groups that resort to kidnapping as an easy way to get money,” she said.
Other members of the media who declined to be named reasoned out that terrorists are to be feared and not martial law.
Ernie B. Esconde