Press Release
December 5, 2009

Congress must review PGMA martial law at once

WHERE is PGMA coming from?

Sen Loren Legarda yesterday asked the question, calling on her colleagues in the Senate to resume session on Monday to review the decision and the basis of her declaration.

While she recognizes the President's power to declare Martial law, Loren said Ms. Arroyo has to submit a report to Congress within 24 hours and Congress has to convene and review it within 48 hours.

While she condemned the massacre and called for an end to warlordism, and the criminal prosecution of perpetrators, Loren said the declaration should not be used as a basis to trample human rights and advance her political ambition."

"If Maguindanao massacre had been the basis at all, the declaration came late, " Loren said in a statement.

"Declaring martial law basis must have an actual rebellion and risk on public safety," she said. " It's not good to declare martial law. It is like saying that there is an actual rebellion and risk on public safety in Maguindanao."

But it's no good for Ms Arroyo to show favor to the Ampatuans.

Before the declaration, Loren noted, the Armed Forces has secured Maguindanao and seized the Ampatuans' arms cache. "Martial law is the ultimate action," she said. "There must be a better way to check lawlessness in the area. Is the President admitting now that she couldn't do anything anymore?"

Loren said Congress must assert its role in defining and limiting the scope of this declaration.

"I call on my colleagues to meet as soon as possible Monday to inquire and discuss the basis, extent of the declaration," she added.

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