September 21, 2017, 8:05 pm
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‘Martial law pa more’

Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said he will be pushing for the extension of martial law in Mindanao declared by President Duterte last May 23 and is supposed to end on July 22, two days before he delivers his second State-of-the Nation address.

Alvarez, who has shepherded a docile House of Representatives to Duterte’s bidding, said Saturday, “If I can convince my colleagues, I will push for an extension until 2022, because two months is too short. Five months or one year or two years is too short.”

Alvarez did not say what is needed that cannot be done without the sword of martial law hanging over Mindanao.

Duterte himself does not seem so eager to lift martial law in Mindanao. News reports said when he was asked last week if he would lift it before delivers his second SONA on July 24, he replied, “No”.

“I consulted the [military and the police] and [they] said it was critical. It will be the Armed Forces and the police who will say if it’s no longer critical,” Duterte said.

Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla, AFP spokesperson said they are still assessing the situation in Marawi which is entering its seventh week as a battlefield between government forces and terrorist groups of Maute and Abu Sayyaf which get support from the dreaded Middle East-based ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria).

There is no pressure for Duterte to end his martial law declaration in Mindanao. In fact, he is getting all the support. The Supreme Court upheld the validity of his martial law declaration in the whole of Mindanao overwhelmingly 11 – 4.

Actually, only Associate Justice Marvic Leonen opposed his declaration all the way. Senior Associate Justice Antonio T. Carpio supported his declaration of martial law but said it should be confined only to Marawi. Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno and Associate Justice Benjamin Caguioa saw the need for martial law in Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, and Sulu.

The Filipino people do not seem to worry about martial law in Mindanao as reflected in the Social Weather Station Survey conducted last June 23 through 26 with 66 percent of the respondents satisfied with the way Duterte is running the country.

Never mind that in Mindanao, his net satisfaction rating dipped 12 points from 87 in March to 75 in June. His satisfaction rating increased in Luzon and Visayas for an overall assessment of “very good.”

If he is getting high scores with martial law, why should he stop? He should give the Filipino people more of the same.

The Filipino people’s embrace of Duterte reminds us of boiling a frog.

If you put a frog into a pot of boiling water, it will leap out right away to escape the danger because his survival instincts are geared towards detecting sudden changes.

But, if you put a frog in a kettle that is filled with unheated water, it will enjoy the coolness and become complacent. It will not immediately react if you gradually heat the kettle.

Before he knows it, the water is boiling and it would be too late for him to jump out of the kettle. He will end up a boiled frog.

There’s a lesson to learn from the nilagang palaka.


E-mail:ellentordesillas@gmail. com
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