Lawmakers say martial rule exists under P-Noy government

(The Philippine Star) - September 21, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Martial law is very real and felt under President Aquino, two lawmakers said yesterday.

Reps. Luzviminda Ilagan and Emmi de Jesus of Gabriela called on women and their families to stand guard against the “worsening fascist repression” under the Aquino administration.

“The martial law that was opposed before by Ninoy Aquino is very much alive under the regime of his son, Noynoy, with the spate of extrajudicial killings, forced evacuations because of military operations that also cause the rape and abuse of our women,” De Jesus said.

Ilagan denounced the spate of Lumad killings and intensified repression under Aquino.

“The continuing military harassment of indigenous communities in Mindanao echoes the brutality of the Marcos counter-insurgency tactics,” she said.

“Civilians, activists and human rights defenders are branded as rebels by the military and its vigilante death squads.

“The killings are as brutal and illegal arrests continue. There is very little difference between what happened four decades ago and now. Aquino has not declared martial law but it is very much felt.”

Gascon ready to face charges

Chairman Jose Luis Martin Gascon of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) is ready to face charges connected with his plan to construct a P500-million martial law museum.

He was reacting to allegations of Marcos loyalist Oliver Lozano that he had committed a criminal act when he initiated the construction of the museum.

“The museum and the allotted P500 million (for its construction) is based on Republic Act 10368,” he told The STAR. “I didn’t create it out of thin air.”

RA 10368, the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013, provides for the creation of a memorial, museum or a library in honor and in memory of the victims of human rights violations during martial law.

An appropriation of at least P500 million was set aside for the creation of the museum.

The money will come from the accrued interest of the P10-billion Marcos ill-gotten wealth  transferred to the government in 1997.

Lozano said he will file a technical malversation case against Gascon before the Office of the Ombudsman this week.

Gascon’s action is a violation of Republic Act 6713, the Code of Conduct for Public Officials and Employees, he added.

The creation of a museum will perpetuate a hate campaign against President Ferdinand Marcos and his family, Lozano said.

“Gascon seeks to gather exhibit to show abuses of martial law allegedly committed by President Marcos, the evident malintention is to incite anew the people to unjustly revive the already dead hate campaign against the Marcoses and to undermine the bid of Sen. Bongbong Marcos for higher office,” he said.

Constructing a martial law museum will run counter to a Supreme Court decision that martial law was a valid act of self-defense of the Republic against a violent communist takeover of the government, Lozano said.

However, Gascon said the law mandates the creation of the museum, which would be similar to the Holocaust Museum in Berlin, Germany and the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

More than 10,000 martial law materials have been gathered from some of the 75,000 victims of human rights abuses at the height of military rule in the country, the CHR said. – Paolo Romero, Janvic Mateo, Rhodina Villanueva, Non Alquitran





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