Martial law a “tool” to save democracy ? Palace
Malacanang said martial law is the “tool” to save democracy as the country marked on Saturday its declaration 47 years ago.
Proclaimed on September 21, 1972 by late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said martial law is “one of the most gripping moments in the nation's history”.
“The imposition of martial law and the abuses it spawned even as it instilled discipline among the citizenry at its inception, as well as reaping success in dismantling the then spreading communist insurgency in the country, created a deep wound to an entire generation,” said Panelo in a statement on Sunday.
He said the Marcos' martial law continues to haunt those who have traumatic experiences during the one-man rule.
“Perforce, it is best to reflect on this day to learn the lessons derived therefrom, using the same to unite us as one people and one country,” he added.
Panelo, however, said a declaration of martial law is a tool for democracy and it only becomes obnoxious when it is abused by enforcers.
“Those who perceive that a declaration of martial law is anti-democratic is oblivious of the fact that its application is precisely the very tool to save the exercise of democracy. It is only when it is clothed with abuse by its enforcers that it becomes obnoxious,” he said.
“Necessarily, its proclamation arises only upon constitutional dictates. Any violation thereof subject the transgressors to the wrath and vengeance of the Constitution,” he added.
Despite the fears and the trauma that martial law created following its declaration, Panelo said, “the framers of the 1987 Constitution acknowledged the necessity of its use to save the Republic from ruin against the enemies of the state, deeming it wise to vest it once more with the President albeit diminishing its discretionary use by adding more safeguards for its abuse”.
Malacanang urged the Filipinos to look at the past as a guide for a better future. Ella Dionisio/DMS