Roque sees no martial law if Marcos wins
MANILA – UniTeam senatorial candidate Harry Roque has dismissed “imaginary fears” that a presidency of Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is the prelude to another era of dictatorship and martial law in the country.
The “paranoia” of the anti-Marcos group, Roque said, should end because institutional safeguards and international mechanisms are in place to dissuade any sitting Philippine president from placing the nation under martial rule.
The former presidential spokesman said the 1987 Constitution provides for strict legislative and judicial control related to the declaration and imposition of martial law in the country.
Roque cited the presence of international bodies such as the Human Rights Council and the United Nations Human Rights Committee that deal with human rights issues and the International Court of Justice (ICJ ) which administers criminal justice to the perpetrators of the most serious crimes.
“Contrary to the misinformation campaign of Marcos critics, I believe there will be no repeat of a martial law regime in the Philippines,” Roque said in a press release Thursday. “Only paranoid individuals would believe otherwise.”
“The reactionary nature of the 1987 Constitution in relation to our experience with martial law limits the grounds and has a chilling effect on any imposition of martial law,” added the former lawmaker and UP law professor.
Then-president Ferdinand Marcos, father of UniTeam’s flag bearer, placed the country under martial law in 1972 and lifted it in 1981.
“Our Constitution grants the Supreme Court and Congress the power to review the judicial and factual basis for a declaration of martial law. The government is mandated to strictly adhere to these strict requirements,” Roque said.
He said Congress could not be abolished under any circumstances and any Filipino citizen could challenge its legality in the Supreme Court.
Martial law, he said, does not grant the armed forces or the police the general power to abuse the rights of citizens.
“Furthermore, we cannot hold the former senator responsible for the official actions of his parents during this time. He was a teenager during the early years of martial law,” Roque said.
“Bongbong Marcos has not been found guilty of any human rights violation pursuant to my due diligence,” Roque said. “So I don’t see his administration committing such acts.”
Praising young Marcos’ statesmanship and inner confidence, Roque said, “I don’t think our presidential leader is predisposed to one-man rule as he is very aware of the Filipino experience under and after matrimonial law. . ”
Under Article 7, Section 18 of the Constitution, martial law may be declared in the Philippines or any part of it in the event of invasion or rebellion when public safety so requires.
The president must submit a report in person or in writing to Congress within 48 hours of the declaration of martial law or the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus.
Congress, voting jointly, may revoke such proclamation or suspension by majority vote.
The Supreme Court may review the factual basis for declaring martial law or for suspending or extending the privilege of the writ.
Other remedies to protect civil and political rights issued by the Supreme Court under the Constitution, namely the writ of amparo and the writ of habeas corpus, remain in place, Roque said. (PR)