FVR: No need for martial law in Mindanao

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FORMER president Fidel Ramos came out against the Mindanao-wide martial law declared by President Rodrigo Duterte, as well as plans to extend it nationwide, warning against abuses under military rule.

Ramos told reporters the martial law declaration should have covered only a limited part of Mindanao, pointing out that it would affect a huge population – 28 million people – when the military pursuit of terrorists is in Marawi City, which has a population of only 200,000.

Former President Fidel Ramos photo by Russell Palma

“That is what I’m really concerned about. Martial law all over Mindanao and its more than 28 million people may be proper in the eyes of the administration but there are enough peaceful areas there that do not need to be subjected to martial law,” Ramos said in a news conference in Makati City.

Ramos said the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police were capable enough to address the situation.


“We have seen how efficient our armed forces have been like the elimination of the Abu Sayyaf-Maute group in Bohol only last month,” Ramos added.

‘Panicky’ statements

The former leader insisted that the government take strong measures in addressing the crisis without abusing human rights.

“They have to limit the violence without any violation of human rights,” he said.

Ramos also called on Duterte’s officials to stop talking about the expansion of martial rule to the Visayas and other parts of the country, to avoid sowing panic.

“This has created on the part of a lot of our people especially those who do not live in Mindanao, and also those living in Mindanao, a sense of fear and foreboding,” he said.

“I’m not saying that the President panicky. I am saying that some members in his delegation are making panicky statements. If it’s true that he has said that martial law may be extended to the Visayas and nationwide, then that is being panicky,” Ramos added

Not the best person

But for Sen. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejecrcito, Ramos is not the best person to advise Duterte on the Mindanao issue.

Ejercito pointed out that the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and other armed groups in Mindanao gained strength during the Ramos administration, adding that some of his officials were MILF members who used resources of the government to build rebel bunkers.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson said it would help the administration to resolve the crisis immediately if people would just let the government do what needed to be done.

“It goes without saying that we should remain vigilant for possible abuses in the implementation of martial law,” Lacson said.

Robredo says no to nationwide martial law

Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo also thumbed down President Duterte’s threat to declare martial law nationwide, but called on the public to support the government’s offensive against the Maute group.
“As it is, we don’t see any reason to extend martial law coverage to Visayas and Luzon. We are observing the martial law in Mindanao. We are looking forward to the guidelines of its implementation,” Robredo said.

“We won’t allow martial law to be an instrument of violence. We won’t allow it to pave the way towards that time when we have to fight a dictatorship. We don’t want it to happen again. But let me be clear that I support our President and the armed forces,” Robredo added.

The vice president was referring to the Martial Law regime of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos that left at least 70,000 victims of torture, extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances.

“We need to be supportive of the administration because we are facing terrorism. This is not the time for division, but at the same time, we need to understand why a lot of people fear martial law,” Robredo said.

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) expressed confidence on Friday that the Armed Forces of the Philippines would uphold the human rights of Mindanao residents.

“Further, we have faith in the constitutional guarantees and respect for all civil liberties and urge the security forces to adhere to the DND (Department of National Defense) and the PNP (Philippine National Police) refresher on ‘Martial Law Do’s and Don’ts,’” CHR spokeswoman Jacqueline de Guia said in a text message to The Manila Times.

with LLANESCA T. PANTI

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10 Comments

  1. Mr. Ramos,
    PDU30 is right in declaring ML in Mindanao and, hopefully, for the entire Philippines because we are under siege by terrorisim. His objective is to protect the people and the land. The people are behind him, believes in him. Do you want to know why? He carries the symbol of truth. But, if you were the one who would declare it, the result would be different.

    The Philippines got the President what it always wanting to have. A unifying factor and a strong leadership.

  2. Did the CHR condemned the beheading of a police officer in Marawi, killing of the security guard in the hospital when they attack and several dead bodies rotting in the grass field that was shown in GMA 7 news because no one can get near it because of bullets from everywhere. FVR only cares about violation of human rights. What about the rights of the victims? FVR said he doesn’t regret supporting PDu30, because FVR knows PDu30 is a sure winner. What is wrong w/ MARTAL LAW as long as you follow the law there won’t be a problem. People in Mindanao doesn’t complaint only the people in here in Manila are the ones complaining. The people in Mindanao says “maayo man, maigi naman, oki naman nu prablem, mainam gid yun, ma igi mga sundalo maka selfie pa kami sa kanila, mabuti yun para sa kabutihan ng lahat yun” FVR is the high priest of the yellow cult. A wolf in sheeps clothing.

  3. Aphetskty Lasa on

    MARIANO PATALINJUG

    You do not make sense. No sense at all. The Philippines is a sovereign state, therefore, no countries, including those entities you mentioned that he cursed (served them right!), have any roles whatsoever, in our affairs. Wala pong puwedeng mang dikta. All decisions emanate from us. Not from anybody. Especially not from you or Ramos, as he is no longer connected with the government. His time has passed. At walang lapdogs dito. This is all about national security where every able-bodied mind comes together in defense of our country from all threats, domestic and foreign.

    FYI. Ramos is against declaring martial law because it throws any martial law guilt back at him. He has so much explaining to do about human rights violation that took place in his days as the PC Chief during the Marcos regime, which the opposition blamed on Macoy which paved the way for his (Macoy’s) exile. Either you are parroting Ramos because you are just as guilty as he is. Or you are nothing but an ignorant child.

    You appear to be concerned but in reality you are just one of those who pretend to be but are actually just trending to make pogi points. In short, pa epal lang. Nasaan ka ba ngayon? Nasa America, enjoying every sweet bit of what America can offer but indifferent to the plight of the people in Mindanao as terrorism is wreaking havoc on them. In fact, hindi mo maitago ang colonial mentality mo by spreading to the entire world that you are from Yonkers, New York, USA. Wow. Matindi. A Filipino who is not sure whether to be one or to be a wannabe American.

    Declaring martial law in Mindanao is justified to quell our fears of terrorism, which could spread like wildfire to the entire country and become a national crisis. If consequently declaring martial law nationwide is necessary for national security, then why not? Our national government is just doing its job to avoid any untoward incident which could devastate the entire nation. No one will come for us when violence and extremism will have taken a foothold. Could we expect you and the country you represent to protect and fight for us? Since you are so concerned? Or do we just, instead, hear an insignificant murmur like what you are doing now? We do not want to emerge like Syria, Iraq, or Libya. So, stop patronizing us. If you cannot be a Filipino like us, then just leave us alone. If you cannot be with us when push comes to shove, then just STFU.

  4. Declaring martial law for the entire Mindanao is not easy for we already have a phobia about that during the time of FM where military abuses were rampant. But this is different now because we are witnessing the advent of the Internit age where everybody can right away report military abuses in social media. Let’s try to give President Digong the benefit of doubt as I could see in his person a sincerity of purpose to do everything for the interest of the people and this has been proven in many instances where people expressed their thanks to his immediate decision to stop “tanim bala” in airports and other problems which he immediately solved with dispatch not like the previous administration of BS Aquino.

  5. Itong matandang ito ang utak ng lahat ng Human Rights violations noong martial law ni Marcos bakit ni isang biktima ay walang nagreklamo… Tanda hwag ka nag magsalita dahil wala ka rin namang nagawa noong ikaw ang nakaupong pangulo ng bansa… para ka rin si abnoy pnoy at corikong akino..

  6. Here’s an idea to the army. Pwede po bang gamitin si FVR na pambala nang mga weapons – and be the first ones to be thrown to Marawi to make sure that the people are safe in all other places in Mindanao. Use him as a shield too – isama niyo si Robredo and most of all Trillanes and his military goons like Alejano – God bless you Alejano(as you say all the time).

    Also pakisabi po sa mga komokontra bakit the whole of Mindanao ang Martial Law – punta po kayo sa Mindanao – and maybe you should go straight to Marawi para safe kayo doon – lalo na yong mga UP students, Senators, Congressmen and a special note to Mr Patalinghug above – go to Marawi and see what it is like. Let us see how brave you are!

    Your fear of Duterte is nothing – compared to what these terrorists can do. Pwede po bang buksan ang mga saradong utak. Most people who came from Marawi City knew what it is like – so can anyone ask them first.

  7. Hoy FVR, please shut up. Let the government do there job. You did nothing during your time as President, except to protect the oligarchs. You had your time and I don’t trust any word you say because you are balimbing, wala nang makinig sayo. Please, please, please SHUT UP

  8. MARIANO PATALINJUG on

    Yonkers,New York
    26 May 2017

    It is quite possible that former President Fidel V. Ramos is now rues the day he virtually pushed Davao City Mayor RODRIGO RODA DUTERTE into the presidential race.

    I bet that within the next six months the whole country will be under Duterte’s MARTIAL LAW.

    There is nobody and no institution which can stop him from doing that.

    The Congress is his lapdog. And the Supreme Court has jelly for its spine.

    MARIANO PATALINJUG
    MPatalinjug@hotmailcom

  9. FVR will only persuade the Muate and Abus Assaff to stay in Marawi and don’t come to other parts of Mindanao so Duterte will lift the martial law. Ramos was either incompetent president or he got his marching order from Washington while he was the president. During his time as well as cory’s he weakened the Armed Forces by not acquiring new and modern weapons. He was just satisfied with second hand or used weapons from Korean and Vietnam era. He must shut up, because the AFP now knows that he is to blame why incompetent cory and the yellow oligarch were able to stay in power for 30 years.

  10. Mr. Ramos, tapes na po ung termino nyo, manahimik na Lang po Kaye. Noun Panahon ng administration ninyo sana sinugpo na Lang ninyo yang mga terorista..Hindi dahil inudyukan nyo ci Duterte na tumakbo, Gagawin na Lang ninyo parating komontra, paalala po, isa lang ang boto ninyo, kagaya ng lahat na filipino.