Hontiveros Shares Thoughts on Civil Liberties and Martial Law
Senator Risa Hontiveros was guest speaker of the Public Education and Advocacy Forum on Civil Liberties last Friday, June 9, 2017, from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon at the Albert Van Gansewinkel Hall, USC Downtown Campus.
“I firmly believe that it is possible and completely reasonable to oppose terrorism, to oppose this Maute terrorism and not have to declare martial law to fight it,” declared Sen. Hontiveros.
She believes that the use of the most extreme power available to the president is unnecessary because she believes in the capacity of the armed forces and national police to defeat the Maute threats in Mindanao. She also expressed her disappointment in Congress which was not able to convene after the declaration. Hontiveros highlighted the need to safeguard civil liberties and continuing the work of peace and sustainable development.
“It ensures that the public, the ordinary Filipinos, all of us citizens understand the reasons behind the declaration of martial law. This is what protects us,” stated Sen. Hontiveros.
Her short yet precise keynote message ended with a challenge posed to the audience to not give in to the fear of terrorist attacks but to continue our way of life and continue the faith in democracy.
Before the keynote speaker, Ms. Grace Magalzo-Bualat, Department Chair of Political Science gave an in-depth discussion on the differences of Proclamation 1081 — the Martial law during Marcos period — and Proclamation 216 — President Duterte’s recent declaration of Martial Law on Mindanao. She discussed how the 1987 Constitution provides constitutional safeguards and checks and balances that will ensure civilians their right and liberties.
Afterwards, the three panel reactors were Mr. Najeeb Razul Fernandez, President of the Voice of Islam, Mr. Justine Balane, Akbayan Youth representative and Atty. Cathy Alvarez, Free Legal Assistance Group representative who respectively gave their insights, responses, and biases regarding the declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao.
An open forum followed which gave the audience the opportunity to raise questions and social issues to Senator Hontiveros and the panel reactors. In conclusion to the forum, a synthesis and challenges speech was given by Prof. Cherry Piquero-Ballescas, Ph.D.
This forum was mainly organized by Kaabag sa Sugbo and Pagtambayayong Foundation Inc. in partnership with the Carolinian Political Science Society (CPSS) and participated by various civil society groups and organizations like Akbayan Party, Akbayan Youth, Student Council Alliance of the Philippines (SCAP), KPD-YNP, Hukbong Sibonga, and several universities such as the Cebu Institute of Technology-University, University of the Philippines Cebu, University of San Jose-Recoletos and Cebu Normal