May 31st, 2017 | by Balaod Mindanaw
We CONDEMN the lawless violence and acts of terrorism perpetrated by the Maute group in Marawi City. We EMPATHIZE with those who have been displaced and are now suffering because of the Marawi crisis. We SALUTE all the soldiers and police as they bravely and gallantly dealt with the terrorist group. We PRAY for the people who died and who were injured by this violence.
However, we question the imposition of Martial Law in addressing the Marawi crisis, not only on its appropriateness and validity, but also in the way by which the executive and legislative branches of government forced it upon us. For while our government leaders demand the strict enforcement of our laws on the people of Marawi and Mindanao using the full military force of the state, the same government leaders brazenly brush aside what the Constitution prescribes upon them in using the full power of their authorities.
We, at BALAOD Mindanaw, advocate that the pursuit of peace in Mindanao can only be achieved by first being grounded to the policies and principles enshrined in our Constitution and laws. Policies and principles that are not merely rules but duties and obligations demanded from us. We demand it from the Maute group and other rebel groups! We demand it from our military and police! We demand it from the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government! We demand it from every Filipino!
As leaders of the government, shouldn’t they strive to give the highest regard and respect to what the Constitution dictates? How can we Filipinos uphold the supreme law of our country if the government show utter disregard of the Constitution coupled with whimsical public statements and fallacious premises on very important issues? It is about time that every Filipino should reflect and re-think about where we stand and what we stand for!