PERSPECTIVES by Mortz Ortigoza

December 17, 2009 at 1:42 pm Leave a comment


Why the government cited rebellion as ground for Martial Law?

To declare Martial Law, the Philippine Constitution says the president can invoke three grounds. They are lawless violence, rebellion, and invasion.

President Gloria Arroyo used rebellion. But she was wrong since the Ampatuans did not commit rebellion (according to the Revised Penal Code is crime by rising publicly and taking arms against the government for the purpose of removing from the allegiance to the said government or its laws, the territory of the Republic of the Philippines or any part thereof,) but committed lawless violence.

Why does the President insist on rebellion? Rebellion and invasion covered the suspension of the privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus. Lawless Violence does not cover it, according to the Constitution.

With the Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus suspended, any of the Ampatuans can be detained by the military indefinitely – especially if the Lakas-Kampi controlled Congress extends it beyond the 60-day limit.

With the Ampatuans under duress from the military, the President is at peace again from any expose by the Ampatuans that she dipped her finger on the previous electoral frauds. The expose should point out how Arroyo and her minions used them (Ampatuans) to cheat presidential candidate Fernando Poe, Jr (FPJ) against Arroyo in 2004, and the opposition candidates in 2007.

***

When I was visiting my high school sweetheart Mary Ann who studied nursing course at the Notre Dame University in Cotabato City in the mid 1980s, I asked her what that long queue at an old movie house.

“It is still 7 am, and the movie usually starts at 10 am, why the long lines of Muslims?” I posed

“Ganoon iyan sila dito. Iyong iba diyan galing pa as far as Maguindanao just to watch Fernando Poe, Jr,” she told me.

I was told that these Muslims would become violent partisan inside the movie house especially if the flick’s villains like Paquito Diaz and Max Alvarado would treacherously stab or shot Fernando at the back.

“Fernando sa likod mo!” The Muslims would yell to warn FPJ of the incoming danger.

Some of them would even lob hand grenades at the wide screen.

Susmariosep, instead of the villains that should have perished, scores of innocent Christian and Muslim movie goers were found lying prostrate either dead or wounded.

I wrote this “tale” to portray how 2004 presidential candidate FPJ was worshipped like a god. But when the return of the canvass was counted I could not believe that Fernando would get zero votes in some towns in Maguindanao.

Thanks but no thanks to the Ampatuans.

***

Declaration of Martial Law is subject to the imprimatur of a joint session of Congress and the Supreme Court. But our Congress and the High Court are inhabited by allies of the President who are majority in numbers.

What if bombings would punctuate different parts of the country anytime from now? And Malacanang would accuse the Ampatuans, or the Muslim rebels and the Communist insurgents for them to exploit the Martial Law in Maguindanao?

Do you think we would be screwed including those winners in the election surveys published by the Social Weather Station and Pulse Asia who are conditioning themselves already to be our elected leaders after the May 10, 2007 polls?

Imagine, still seeing La Presidenta Gloria still at the perch of power in Malacanang after the changing of guards in June 30, 2010.

This is a possibility since the stake for Mrs. Arroyo is too high. The Sword of Damocles menacingly hangs at her head. She knows that after she stepped down as president her enemies would zealously and immediately charge her with a non-bailable case of plunder and others that even her congressional candidacy in Pampanga could not save her.

Tell me, my friends, how she could avoid these threat?

***

Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior, what is this email I received from CPA William Bolivar, my town mate in M’lang, Cotabato and now a resident of General Santos?

Please read about this conspiracy theory that is circulating like hot cakes in the Internet. This was written by our Kasimanwa Atty Bertini “Toto” Causing of the National Press Club:

“Instead of launching war against MILF and MNLF which is expensive, what Defense ecretary Norberto Gonzales did was to make “chismis” circulating between two possible warring clans. The timing was perfect because Datu Andal Sr. was so worried how he can stay in power because of the three-term limit. Andal Sr. even went to the Comelec in the Province of Maguindanao to ask what he should do to enable him to run again for the 2010 elections. A “bobo” Comelec official advised him to take a leave. Another Comelec official advised him to resign. Confused, Andal Sr. went to Malacanang and asked an Arroyo confidante what to do. And Andal was told that the only way for him to hold on to power is to prevent elections there from happening. And he was advised to do what is necessary. I do not know what was the advice; but I surmise that he was egged on not to give in to the Mangudadatus who were hell bent on grabbing power from him. In short, “binatirya” or “tsinismis patalikod ang mga Mangudadatu kay Andal na aagawin ang poder sa kanila.” And once the power is taken over, the Mangudadatus would take revenge for the earlier raids done on them resulting in seizure of firearms.

Obsessed with desire to keep power revved up by “chismis”, the Ampatuans harbored deep hatred and extreme fear of losing power. And to ensure that no election shall occur, the killings should be done with extreme brutality to justify “Martial Law,” a condition when no election can be held in the province. They were only looking at killing and burying in nowhere the Mangudadatus and families so that they would only be recorded as missing. Then the incident would be charged against the rebels or Abu Sayyaf, not thinking they would be including 30 journalists in their plan for they did not think that Mangudadatu would ask for the help of media men. And if there would be Martial Law, the Ampatuans stay in power under the hold-over principle. But their game plot failed during the execution. Thank God: before they knew it, Toto Mangudadatu was able to know the abduction because his wife was able to call him up, prompting Toto Mangudadatu to call for Army assistance; the soldiers responded quick enough that forced the killers to escape even though the other victims were not yet buried, leading to the discovery of the plan; thus, the execution failed. The original plot was just to make it appear that the victims disappeared mysteriously so that it can be blamed to heightened rebellion that would justify attacks on MILF which, in turn, would justify martial law.

Until here, I believe I have answered now the question why it should be as brutal as this. It was the Ampatuans who did the act and planned the act. The Gloria government only happened to have benefited from it to justify martial rule.

What would be the net effect when Martial Law gains momentum in Maguindanao? It will embolden the Gloria machines to do the same in other Muslim provinces: (a) Wahab Akbar’s family vs Gerry Salappudin’s in Basilan; (b) Sakur Tan clan vs Tupay Loong clan in Sulu; (c) Jaafar clan vs opponents in Tawi-Tawi; (d) Dimaporo clan in Lanao Norte against a challenging clan; and (e) Many clans in Lanao Sur.

If Norberto Gonzales would have his way, he wanted all of them to fight each other to justify Martial Law in the rest of Muslim provinces.

Remember that the total number of votes in these provinces is substantially big enough to cause suspension of proclamation of winners in Presidential, Vice-Presidential and Senatorial races.

So that when proclamation cannot be had and it will be aggravated and prolonged by creative petitions and protests to be filed before the Comelec, the Speaker of the House (Gloria) would act as Acting President. Why? Since there would be no president, vice president and senators who would be proclaimed, the Speaker takes over under the Constitution. Gloria would argue that the 12 present senators cannot choose a Senate President because it needs at least 13 votes to elect the Senate President.

Another plus or bonus for them: the House of Representatives will approve to extend martial law by means of them voting together with the Senators where the senator’s vote is only one.

A dummy petition shall be filed to question the act of “voting jointly” by means of outnumbering the Senators; and hoping the Gloria-appointees- dominated Supreme Court would rule that “voting jointly” means lumping together the senators and the congressmen and each of them has only ONE VOTE.

And when the Supreme Court would go Gloria’s way, they would now implement House Resolution 1109 calling for the senators and congressmen to “vote jointly” for a CON-ASS to pave the way for a parliamentary government. This PLUS or BONUS may happen before or after the 2010 elections. If it happens after elections, the picture that you would see is that the leading candidates for president, vice-president and senators cannot be proclaimed because their margin of leads can still be overturned by the total votes in areas where voting would be deferred till eternity by Martial Law.

**

After our press conference with Ilocos Norte congressman and Nationalista Party senatorial aspirant Bong Bong Marcos at a hotel in Dagupan City recently, a political columnist of a provincial newspaper asked me if it is not in violation of the election law if media men write in their paper promoting certain candidate even to the extent of scribbling them to be voted into public office.

No, because as far as I know what they are only espousing is still covered by the freedom of expression’s clause in the Constitution – a higher law than the Omnibus Election Code or whatever resolution the Comelec approves,” I opined

Even I was already at the comfort of my abode, I couldn’t get in my head what I told the columnist. Thanks to the Political Law book authored by Retired Judge Ed Vincent S. Albano that I seldom pull at the shelf of my personal library (why need a library now if you have Internet connection that spares you minutes and hours scanning for the indexes and pages).

The book says that banning mass media columnists, commentators, and announcers from using their columns and radio programs in campaigning …is unconstitutional because it restricted the freedom of expression of the mass media, columnists or commentators (Sanidad vs. COMELEC, 181 SCRA 529).
(Send comments to totomortz@yahoo.com)

Entry filed under: Opinion.

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