By Chito Chavez
An opposition member of the House of Representatives said that mobilizing the military to strictly enforce the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) is not merely a martial law type lockdown but is simply martial law itself.
Bayan Muna Rep. Ferdinand Gaite said, “Let’s call a spade a spade’.’
He insisted that there is no constitutional basis for the deployment of the military other than those enumerated under Article 7, Section 18 of the 1987 Constitution which states that the mobilization of the military, in martial law, could only be done “to prevent or suppress lawless violence, invasion or rebellion.”
“None of these conditions exists; thus there should be no basis for the deployment of military forces (during) the lockdown,” said Gaite.
Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año affirmed the power of the President to declare martial law is in accordance with the Constitution.
He said that the existence of chaotic circumstances and the exploitation of such situations provide the basis for the President to declare martial law.
Aῆo pointed out that leftist groups apparently view the emergency health crisis as an opportunity to discredit the government and continue their revolution.
He noted that there are reports that the communist group CPP-NPA has attacked government troops involved in the COVID-19 emergency response operations.
Aῆo said the Philippine National Police (PNP) has been mobilized to respond to such actions.