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Martial law extension: A postscript

As you already know by now, Congress just voted 240 to 27 (14 senators voted Yes while 4 voted No) for martial law’s one-year extension in Mindanao. No doubt the super majority in Congress showed their fealty to Pres. Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte. Of course the 27 who voted no to martial law expressed their opinions, questioning why it should be extended when in the first place martial law was declared because of the Maute-ISIS attack on Marawi City and as of today, the Armed Forces of the Philippines already declared Marawi City as cleared of terrorists.

These are arguments that are very valid, but then I was watching the ANC news report and the congressmen opposed to the extension of marital law unfortunately do not come from Mindanao.

The people of Mindanao, through all the many years, have suffered violence because armed groups freely roaming the countryside. What complicates the issue is the reality today that the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army are no longer talking peace with the Philippine government and since they have been declared as terrorists you can bet that they will show their firepower and conduct more raids than ever before. In short the enemy of the AFP has merely shifted from the Maute-ISIS to the CPP-NPA who continue to terrorize the countryside and kill civilians in the process.

This is why the AFP has already declared that this time there will be no Christmas truce. If you ask me, a Christmas truce was already used by the supposedly godless communists to spend their Christmas with their families without fear of being arrested. Well, not this time. The AFP will spend their Christmas looking for NPAs in the countryside.

Meanwhile, talks about extending martial law nationwide are being peddled by certain quarters. If you ask me they are trying to bait Pres. Duterte to make a nationwide declaration so they can finally call him a dictator the way they called Marcos a dictator. One thing they do not know is that Pres. Duterte is not stupid. He knows the security situation in the country and there is no compelling reason to declare a nationwide martial law.

Of course the CPP-NPA can literally force Pres. Duterte to make a nationwide declaration of martial law if it goes on full-scale attacks against the AFP all over the country. But then we know too well that this would spread their forces very thinly and expose themselves to be decimated by the more superior AFP. I don’t think that the CPP-NPA will be so reckless. So in the meantime, let Martial Law be done within Mindanao and let’s hope that this would do a lot in reducing the number of armed groups roaming the Mindanao countryside.

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The fact that former president Benigno “PNoy” Aquino III appeared before the House Committee hearing on the controversial Dengvaxia anti-dengue vaccine together with former Department of Budget and Management secretary Florencio Abad and former executive secretary Paquito Ochoa shows to you that democracy is alive in this country contrary to many yellow trolls who insist that PNoy should not appear before this congressional hearing. The fact remains that the Dengvaxia was rushed into the scene.

When asked why this vaccine was rushed, the former president said that if they did not push for this in 2016, the program would be implemented in 2017. This is a very flimsy reason why the Dengvaxia vaccine was rushed. Even if the World Health Organization had not even endorsed it, the Aquino Regime still implemented this program. These issues were never answered directly in the hearing. All that PNoy said was that they were looking for a solution to the dengue problem.

One issue remains unanswered; why then Health secretary Janette Garin still used Zuellig Pharma to procure the vaccines when they were already talking with officials of Sanofi Pasteur in Paris and in China. Hence, there was no prohibition for the DOH to deal directly with the French pharmaceutical company. At this point, I still say that the top officials of the Aquino Regime should be made liable for this brouhaha.

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For email responses to this article, write to vsbobita@mozcom.com or vsbobita@gmail.com. His columns can be accessed through www.philstar.com.

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