Most Filipinos believe that martial law is not needed to solve the country’s problems, according to the latest Pulse Asia survey.
The poll, conducted from December 6 to 11 among 1,200 respondents, showed that 74 percent of those surveyed did not see the need to impose martial law now while 12 percent said it is necessary. Fourteen percent were undecided.
The anti-martial law sentiment was the prevailing sentiment in all geographic areas (65 to 81 percent), socioeconomic classes (67 to 76 percent), age groupings (70 to 71 percent), and among men and women (73 and 74 percent, respectively).
The rejection was highest in Metro Manila at 81 percent, followed by Mindanao at 75 percent, Luzon, 74 percent and Visayas, 65 percent.
President Rodrigo Duterte raised the specter of martial law last year when he asked Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno if the chief magistrate would rather have the President declare martial law when she opposed Duterte’s publicly naming of judges allegedly involved in drugs.
In October, Duterte once again floated the idea of declaring martial law because of the illegal drug trade during a meeting with the Jewish community at the Beit Yaacov Synagogue in Makati City.
But last month, the President said declaring martial law would be “useless” when a “state of lawlessness” would suffice
Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella reiterated Duterte is not keen on declaring martial law.
“The President earlier said that the imposition of martial law does not seem to improve significantly the lives of the Filipinos. He cited the experience during the administration of former President Marcos as the best argument for him not to declare martial law,” Abella said in a statement.
The survey, which was released on Wednesday, has a ± 3% error margin at the 95 percent confidence level, while subnational estimates for each of the geographic areas covered have a ± 6% error margin, also at 95% confidence level.
Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino 4th said the survey clearly showed that people are expecting the government to find new ways to address the country’s problems without using violence.
According to Aquino, although the problems on illegal drugs and terrorism persist, the survey indicated that
Filipinos do not want the government to use old methods that are not good for the country.
“It’ a complete rejection of this type of leadership, that type of governance that leaning towards violence or martial rule,” said Aquino, a member of the Liberal Party.
The senator expressed hopes that Malacañang will listen to the voice of the people and totally strike out martial law from its options.
With JEFFERSON ANTIPORDA