Saturday, September 3, 2016

Duterte Declares State of Lawlessness After Davao Bombing

Wazzup Pilipinas!

"We call for sobriety and for the people to stay calm and refrain from any speculations so as not to exacerbate the situation" says AFP Public Affair Office Chief Arevalo.

The Abu Sayyaf Group has already claimed responsibility to the Friday, September 2, 2016, blast that killed 14 and wounded 70+ in Davao's Roxas Market. President Duterte has declared a State of Lawlessness in the city after his 4 a.m. Saturday, September 3, visit at the blast site.

AFP spokesman Brig. Gen. Padilla has also confirmed the deployment of 7,000 fresh troops in Sulu to fight the Abu Sayyaf.

Anyare sa "one of the safest cities" in the world?

All PNP units in Metro Manila are now in "full alert status."

The country's premier airport has also been placed in full alert status following Friday's bombing in Davao City. 
"This is not to alarm the public. We have raised our alert status as a proactive measure to ensure safety and security of airport users," said MIAA GM Ed Monreal.
"We have directed baggage screeners to remain vigilant and discerning and to conduct thorough inspection ONLY when the need calls for it. We do not want to cause inconvenience in the process by creating long lines at the baggae screening checkpoints," Monreal explained.

The airport chief also said that as a matter of procedure during full alert status, "we have full complement in our Airport Police Department. Cancelled day-off, no leave of absence.
 Monreal further advised airport users not to be alarmed with increased police visibility within the Terminal buildings and outer vicinities of NAIA. "Our K9 units will also be a common sight in the complex under this situation," the airport chief added. 

Security at checkpoints shall conduct random rigid inspectiins on motor vehicles and the public is advised to oblige for their own protection. 
Issuance of access for the purpose of meeting or sending off passengers has also been limited. "Depending on intelligence reports, we may completely suspend issuance of visitors passes for everyone's safety, "Monreal stressed.
"Together with the PNP-Aviaition Security Group, we appeal to everyone to bear with us during this time," Monreal said in closing.

The MRT and LRT stations are also on full alert.

Transportation Department Undersecretary for Rails Noel Kintanar confirms all rail networks in the country are on full alert. Heightened security measures are in place. "We ask for the commuter's cooperation in the implementation of security measures and their assistance in reporting any suspicious behavior in the stations, trains and across the rail network" said Kintanar.

The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) has put all ports nationwide in heightened alert

Below is a statement coming from Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros:

Together with the Filipino people, I grieve with the families of the victims of the attack in Davao Friday night. I fully condemn this act of violence and support the full extent of the law to identify and punish the perpetrators of this atrocious crime.

I welcome the swift response of President Duterte on this matter. I also laud him for finally admitting that the country is in a crisis involving unresolved cases of extrajudicial killings.

However, I would like to express my deep concerns regarding the President's declaration of a state of lawlessness all over the country. President Duterte's declaration of a "state of lawlessness" should be merely an act declaring a status or condition of public moment or interest, a declaration allowed under Section 4 Chapter 2, Book II of the Revised Administrative Code of 1987, which provides:

SEC. 4. Proclamations. Acts of the President fixing a date or declaring a status or condition of public moment or interest, upon the existence of which the operation of a specific law or regulation is made to depend, shall be promulgated in proclamations that shall have the force of an executive order.

The Supreme Court said that declarations of such nature should be "harmless, without legal significance, and deemed not written."

The "Calling Out Powers" of the President under Sec 18, Article VII should be limited in scope. The President shall only deploy the Armed Forces to suppress the identified acts of violence, which serve as factual basis for the Calling-Out Power.

It cannot give the military and the police extra powers. They still cannot conduct arrests, searches and seizures without judicial warrants. Contrary to the President's instructions, they cannot, in a anyway and in any legal and constitutional sense, run the country.

The President might have intended this declaration to underscore the seriousness of the Davao attack. But he should be aware that his actions may very well contribute to an environment of fear and violence that will serve the interests of lawless elements. I worry that the President might play to the script of the perpetrators of the violence.

I urge the Duterte government to continue to operate within the bounds of the law and respect the civil liberties of the people. We cannot fight lawless elements by depriving our people their right to the rule of law.

Lastly, I urge my fellow Filipinos, especially our Mindanaoan sisters and brothers, to remain vigilant and be united in these trying times. We will not cower in fear. #

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