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Beware martial law

MANILA (SE): “Let us continue to maintain safeguards against dictatorial martial law that our present constitution contains,” the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of The Philippines, Archbishop Socrates Villegas, said at the completion of the bishops’ plenary meeting in January.

He warned that the president of the country, Rodrigo Duterte, is spoiling to impose martial law, pointing out that only recently he said that he is eyeing changing the martial law provisions in the constitution to allow its declaration without the approval of the congress and the Supreme Court.

CBCP News reported on January 31 that at their plenary gathering the bishops stressed that rewriting the constitution of the nation should be something that concerns all Filipinos.

They added that the overriding concern should be provisions that respect and promote human rights, not measures that are tailor made to weaken them.

“The process of amending the constitution should not be left to politicians or to those who either by election or appointment will be tasked to draft amendments,” the president of the bishops’ conference explained.

He pointed out that Duterte is hell bent on changing the mode of government from a presidential system to a federal one and this should be watched carefully.

While he did not say this is necessarily a bad thing, he stressed that it is a process that needs to be monitored by the people, as he believes that the president is hell bent on declaring martial law to force his agendas through quickly.

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