De Lima hits Gamboa for backing martial law call in Sulu

Published August 28, 2020, 1:13 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Opposition Sen. Leila de Lima slammed Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Police Gen. Archie Francisco Gamboa Friday for supporting calls for the declaration of martial law in Sulu following the twin bombings carried out by two female suicide bombers last Monday.

Senator Leila de Lima

De Lima said the PNP should, in fact, be held accountable for the bombings since it was the police forces in Jolo, Sulu that killed the military operatives that were in pursuit of the terrorists last June 29.

“The nerve of PNP chief Archie Gamboa to second the motion of the AFP that martial law should be declared in Sulu,” De Lima said.

“Bakit martial law ang sagot niya, kung ang mga salarin sa pagkalusot ng mga suicide bomber ay ang Jolo PNP na pumatay sa apat na mga operatiba ng AFP, na tumutugis naman doon sa mga suicide bomber na nagpasabog sa pito pang mga sundalo at marami pang sugatan (Why is martial law his solution to the problem, when the real culprits on why the suicide bombers were able to launch terror are officials of Jolo PNP who killed the operatives of the Armed Forces of the Philippines who were then after these suicide bombers?)” the former Justice Secretary said.

“Hindi ba ang dapat gawin ay tapusin ang sabwatan ng PNP sa mga teroristang pumapatay sa mga sundalo? (Shouldn’t the PNP stop the collusion between the PNP and terrorists who kill soldiers?)” she pointed out.

Echoing other opposition senators’ views on the matter, the detained senator said she too believes that the best way to resolve the twin explosion and the killings of the soldiers is by arresting those responsible for the killing of the four soldiers.

“Defeating terror is not a matter of employing more State violence in the form of martial law and an unconstitutional anti-terror law,” she said of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.

De Lima said what is more important is a matter of the State security forces staying loyal to the Philippine flag and protecting the people, not the terrorists.

“To assure this in the present fiasco we find ourselves in, the top officials of the PNP should start accepting responsibility for the inexcusable and deadly actions of their men in Jolo, instead of riding on the martial law solution of the AFP,” she said.

“Unlike the AFP, the PNP is not an aggrieved party here. In fact, they are the cause of the grief,” she added.

Gamboa, according to De Lima, should stop trying to defend his men and at the same time, pursue martial law proposals.

“Wala kang karapatan ngayon na susugin pa ang panukalang martial law. Kung sinunod lang ng iyong mga tauhan ang batas, imbes na makipagsabwatan sa mga suicide bombers, hindi sana nagkaroon ng pambobomba, at hindi na sana humantong pa ang usapan sa martial law (You have no right to support martial law proposals. If your men only followed the law, instead of colluding with suicide bombers, no bombing should have happened and we don’t have to talk about martial law),” she said.

“Walang magagawa ang martial law kung may mga bantay-salakay sa PNP (Martial law would not resolve anything if there are traitors in the PNP),” the lawmaker said.