Democratic space getting smaller
The inordinate extension of martial law in Mindanao seems to be part of a grand design or intent to eventually place the entire country under military rule and completely transform the nation into a police state.
Despite dubious presentations by the martial rulers that attempt to justify the extension, there is objectively no sufficient factual basis which public safety requires. There is no actual and real — not threatened nor predicted — rebellion in the entire Mindanao of such intensity and scope as to honestly satisfy the strict extraordinary constitutional powers.
It is now obvious that recent moves like the proscription of the Communist Party of the Philippines and New People’s Army as “terrorist” organizations and the open demonization of progressive mass organizations lay the grounds not only for such extension of martial law in Mindanao, but eventually to possibly put the whole country under effective military rule or institutionalized authoritarianism.
The proponents and supporters of these dangerous moves are playing with wild fire that will engulf us all. The democratic space left for us to breathe is getting smaller and smaller by the day and will suffocate all our rights before we realize it. Unless we refuse to just stand idly by.
EDRE U. OLALIA, president,
EPHRAIM B. CORTEZ, secretary general,
MARIA CRISTINA P. YAMBOT, spokesperson,
National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers
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