LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people…” (1 Peter 2:13-15, the Holy Bible).
“FIND THE HIGHEST TREE AND HANG THEM THERE”: As a consequence of the treacherous leak that some senators who belong to the opposition gave to media regarding what Secretary Delfin Lorenzana of the Department of National Defense told them in confidence during an executive session of the Senate on the Marawi City rebellion and invasion, I was compelled to remember the late Court of Appeals Justice and Civil Law bar reviewer par excellence Desiderio Jurado.
I took my bar review in Civil Law under him at the UP Law Center when I was about to take the bar examinations in 1982. To assure me and my fellow bar reviewees then to seriously study the subjects he was tackling, he would often say, “If this question on civil law will not appear as a bar question, you can find the highest tree in the Supreme Court and hang me there.”
This style was so effective that all of us studied harder, including his daughter, Roxanne, also reviewing then. After the exams, nobody tried to find the highest tree, of course. Now, minority senators feeding the media with Lorenzana’s confidential report that there was allegedly no need for martial law in Marawi City, I hope somebody will not try to find the highest tree in the Senate grounds and hang them there.
TREACHERY BY SENATORS ON MARAWI SIEGE: I say what these senators did was treachery of the highest order, not only to Lorenzana, and to their fellow senators and the Senate as an institution, and to President Duterte, but more as against Filipinos in Mindanao, and in Luzon and Visayas as well. It was treachery because publicizing a highly confidential report, given to them in strict confidence, undermined national security and public interest.
Sen. Panfilo Lacson, a former general of the Philippine National Police, also bewailed that what the minority senators did could jeopardize the lives of law enforcement officers and men who are battling the rebels and the invaders that are clearly heavily armed, highly funded, and deriving support from international terror organizations.
Many citizens could only ask, in disgust: what were the minority senators thinking when they released to the media what was told them by Lorenzana in executive session? Surely, they were not thinking of the interest of the people of Marawi City and of Mindanao. Then, they could not have been thinking likewise of the interest of our soldiers fighting the terrorist. Perhaps, they were thinking to simply discredit Duterte, so it would be easier ousting him?
FOREIGN INVASION WAS PRESENT IN MARAWI CITY, AFTER ALL: To say that this is unfortunate would be the greatest understatement of all. The fact is that, a Reuters report, written by one Tom Allard, talks about the reality of an invasion against the Philippines by foreign armed elements in the Marawi City siege. The report said as much as 40 to 50 foreigners were fighting with local terrorists when they attacked the city.
Clearly, the basic elements of a martial declaration contained under Section 18, Art. 7 of the 1987 Constitution, were very much present here. There was invasion, as shown by the foreign armed terrorists who descended to Mindanao from Malaysia, Indonesia, and from the Middle East. Then, there was rebellion, because the terrorists, local and foreign, hoisted the flag of their group when their attacks began.
Only the rabid critics and bitter political foes of Duterte will reject the existence of these realities on the ground. This could only mean that, either they are on the side of the terrorists and would want martial law lifted so terroristic activities could proceed unhampered, or they do not want martial law to continue because that would mean obstacles in their plan to kick Duterte out.
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