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Monday, December 11, 2017 28° Cloudy

What the SWS survey on Mindanao martial law tells us

Updated

By John Tria

John Tria

John Tria

Amid the excitement of the Manila ASEAN summits’ numerous agreements, bilateral pacts, and of course, selfies, one important item may have escaped attention:

The recent social weather stations survey (https://www.sws.org.ph/swsmain/artcldisppage/?artcsyscode=ART-20171110162800) indicates a result that government detractors and oppositors to martial law will find chilling: 54% of Filipinos agree with the July decision to extend martial law in Mindanao to December 31. Only about 28 percent strongly disagree with the extension of the measure. To quote the SWS release:

“Net agreement with Pres. Duterte’s decision to extend Mindanao martial law until end of 2017 was highest in Mindanao at a very strong +41 (64% agree, 23% disagree), followed by the Visayas at a moderately strong +22 (54% agree, 32% disagree), Balance Luzon at a moderately strong +18 (49% agree, 31% disagree), and Metro Manila at a moderately strong +16 (52% agree, 36% disagree). It did not vary across locales”

This is the first time public opinion on such was ever gauged. That the survey was done in September, or a few months after the uprising began samples a perspective distilled after seeing a long period of battle. Either way we see it, this represents a majority of Filipinos who agree with the measure with net agreement rated as “moderately strong” – even in Metro manila and Luzon.

The story here is how the result challenges the message being projected by oppositors that the Mindanao martial law would be despised as the same ruthless and bloody Marcos-era imposition.

What is glossed over, perhaps omitted, in their message is that the post-EDSA 1987 Constitution crafted by many victims of that particular martial law retained it as a constitutional option albeit with numerous safeguards. To our knowledge, all of the attendant processes were followed. Had Martial law been such a hated institution, then the consitiutional framers would have deemed it better not to write it in.

Moreover, this survey shows the support of many, especially in Mindanao and challenges those who opine that such a response by government was unwarranted and unecessary despite being allowed by the constitution.

The survey comes right before one Raissa Robles receiving an award for her book on the Marcos Martial law, and the Amnesty International (AI) report (https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2017/11/philippines-battle-of-marawi-leaves-trail-of-death-and-destruction).

AI reported that survivors and witnesses, and many described how IS-linked militants regularly targeted civilians and carried out extrajudicial killings in Marawi City. The AI report cites instances of violations both by government and the Maute group for which it calls for further investigations.

But perhaps unlike the statements of government detractors, the report focuses on the death and and destruction perpetrated in the name of an ISIS-led ideology, and cites the Maute group for violations international humanitarian law. This lends credence to the need for human rights organizations to also lend focus on the “non -state actors” they speak of, who function as a government in many areas, trampling on the rights of individuals, using arms to impose ideologies and bigotry against others, and worse infiltrating or destroying institutions meant to protect those who do not agree with them. The human rights of their victims were destroyed.

A public question being asked is: has our own Commission on Human Rights reported the same? Have they called out “non-state actors “ like ISIS and Maute as strongly as they should?

As the SWS survey shows support for the martial law extension to December, an answer is pushed: that the strong government response is no longer a despised option, and that future use of such institutions is warranted so long as the correct process is followed.

Flights within BIMP EAGA pushed

Early this month, the third Brunei -Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asia Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) Air Linkages Roundtable Forum was held in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, attended by government, airport authorities and private airline representatives from the four member countries such as Cebu Pacific, Airasia, Malaysian Airlines(MASwings), Lion Air and Malindo. They met to come up with actions to build connectivity within the region. Most important is hurdling the challenge of sustaining load factor on many of the previously operating yet discontinued EAGA routes.

While we laud efforts by the Mindanao Development Authority to continue pushing such initiatives, perhaps its time to convene a broader venue for stakeholders such as tourist associations and business groups to get the public involved. Load factors and usage of these routes are a matter of public usage so that their viabilities are strong. In recent experience, the role of bloggers and social media influencers has been particularly effective in getting people to travel, as word of mouth and selfies tell interesting stories. it would be good to engage them to bring people into these proposed flights.

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Comments (19)

  • Avatar

    Rey David

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    OSG misled, manipulated by PAGCOR Greed

    Earlier this month, the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel, or OGCC, issued an important Opinion (sent to the Office of the Executive Secretary on 6 September 2017) which established an authoritative and resounding rebuttal of the earlier opinion issued by the Office of the Solicitor General with regard to the matter of online gaming.

    The OGCC Opinion included a scathing rebuke of PAGCOR for virtually manipulating the OSG to comply with its whim and try to support with “legal basis” its questionable and illegal Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) program, which has actually wreaked havoc and caused uncertainty and turmoil in the local online gaming industry. Last year, PAGCOR arrogated authority to itself and wrested control of the very lucrative online gaming industry from other agencies, in the process imposing steep legal license fees. Whispers and grumblings among industry players tell of steep unofficial ‘enrolment fees’ as well.
    ,

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    • Avatar

      Lucas Temoteo

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      there is always an opportunity to commit corruption and that is being proven by the greediness of pagcor officials. they are taking advantage of being an administrator to lottery and legal gambling however they are still engaging in work that they should not be doing. .,,

      Reply

    • Avatar

      Kwak Kwak Kwak

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      online gambling is simply not in the function of pagcor and can be used to further expand their greed and their corrupt practices. we should make sure that pagcor does not abuse its authority and supervision. we should always be critical to pagcors greed and in making sure that they support our president in his anti corrupt acts.//

      Reply

    • Avatar

      Simon antonio

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      pagcor should not continue to hide its greed and their actions like online gambling which is clearly something that they should not be doing. pagcor is more concerned on its greed and corruption. they should not be allowed to operate and supervise online gambling as clearly this is not in their mandate/

      Reply

    • Avatar

      Emilio

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      we need government agencies that will be able to deliver for the government funds needed for projects that will improve the lives of the people. pagcor has the funds however they are operating outside of their legal function and we are not sure if all their earnings are being returned to the government.,,

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Rey David

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    pagcor is continuously not supporting the anti corruption drive of the government and the president. it consistently tries to justify and hide its greed and corrupt acts even at the expense of some government agencies. it is clear that pagcor is trying to hide something. we should continue to pressure pagcor in to not involving in acts which they are not capable and not legally bound./

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    • Avatar

      Lucas Temoteo

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      this is clearly greed on the part of pagcor and to justify that greed they are trying to get the opinion of any government agency to back them up. they are not contented on their current work but still trying to get supervision over something which is not legal and where they will not be able to regulate
      ,

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    • Avatar

      Kwak Kwak Kwak

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      corruption and greed goes together. this is clear in how pagcor handles its business. we should make sure that all the dealings of pagcor are legal and that there is no room for corruption and greed. pagcor officials should always be reminded that they serve the people and not the people serving them

      Reply

    • Avatar

      Simon antonio

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      this is clearly a case of trying to justify their illegal acts. pagcor has been known in the past and even in the future to be involved in corrupt practices and deals. we must not allow pagcor to involve other government agencies in hiding and getting support for their corrupt acts/

      Reply

    • Avatar

      Emilio

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      pagcor must be consistently reminded that they are serving the people and the government. the government is the people and they are entitled to better services. how can the government support the people and its services if the money that is supposed to go to government goes to corruption
      /

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  • Avatar

    Berdugo Katapang

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    this clearly shows the support of our current president and government to our troops. our president has supported our troops all the way and he is not only saying things but also showing actions in his words. we should now take care of our troops as they are our defense for all the enemies of the state including terrorists,

    Reply

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      SUPERBI

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      our soldiers are taking their lives on the line whenever they go to the field. it is only proper that we give them the right equipment to support their work. it is only in this administration that we are seeing the full support of our government to our troops. we should applaud this government and president duterte in his honest dedication to our military.,,

      Reply

    • Avatar

      Liwanag Para sa Bayan

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      protecting our military should be the primary concern of our government and this is indeed what our president is doing. he is like a good father who is protecting our capabilities in the military so we can react more quickly and properly in case of any threat. we should support our president in his goal of strengthening our military,

      Reply

    • Avatar

      Parasa Bayan

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      there is no room for corruption in this administration and as a result our president is now upgrading the capabilities of our military. if there is no corruption then we have enough money and resources to upgrade our capabilities. let us support our president in his dedication to our military and his goal of upgrading their capabilities.mm

      Reply

    • Avatar

      maka pili

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      we are a country made up of different islands. it is more important that we have a military that is able and capable to have advance intelligence. this project of our president and our government is a very good step in making sure that our military capabilities be enhanced. this will show that our president is truly sincere in his words/

      Reply

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    SUPERBI

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    the strengthening of our military has been long overdue. it is only through this government and our president that we are seeing the right attention deserved by our troops. we should continue supporting our military and our president in his dedication to make sure that our military is able and prepared
    ,,,

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      Liwanag Para sa Bayan

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      this is very good news to our troops and our military. israel is very capable in selling us military equipment and they have been known to have good military capabilities. we should applaud our president in his real concern and real dedication to improve our military capabilities.,,

      Reply

    • Avatar

      Parasa Bayan

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      we have seen during the marawi incident that our military needs to be upgraded to cope up with the threats to our country. let us support our president for his dedication in making our military more capable in dealing with all the threats to our country. this president clearly is working for the benefit of our military/

      Reply

    • Avatar

      maka pili

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      a capable military will make our country earn the respect of our neighbors. the upgrade of our military is an important first step for us to gain the respect of our neighbor countries. our president knows this and he is not only saying or making promises to the military but also making actions in making sure that they get the right equipment.,,

      Reply

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