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By: John R. Petalcorin (MNLF)

It was in the year 1965 that Ferdinand E. Marcos sat for the first time as president of the Philippines, and barely three years later, in 1968, even before Martial Law, Senator Ninoy had already orgnanized Moro Secession through the Moro National Liberation Front Mindanao Independence Movement or MNLF-MIM under Nur Misuari, and the Communist Insurgency through the Communist Party of the Philippines New Peoples Army or CPP-NPA under Joma Sison. These two insurgency fronts were organized by Senator Ninoy Aquino, Nur Misuari, and Joma Sison in close collaboration with Malaysia in order to plague the Philippine government. Malaysia funded this troublemaking, providing Ninoy and his supporters with ammunition, weaponry, training, and machinery.
In 1968-1969, reports of systematic mass recruitment by cause-oriented labor groups in the ranks of the employees of the corporations and industries, by the Moro secessionist movement in Mindanao, and by the armed communist insurgents plaqued the governement in an alarming scale. In many places in remote provinces, those who refuse to join the rebellion were murdered by the insurgents. Be reminded, that was 1969 -- there was no Martial Law yet in that year, that was three years before Martial Law.

In 1970, the Joint US Military Advisory Group Headquarters sa Quezon City was bombed; some 50,000 communist-leaning workers and student activists attacked Malacanang Palace and burned the hospital using a forcefully-taken fire truck so they can breach the gates; a series oof violence pill-box-bomb throwings happened in several school campuses in Metro Manila; two Catholic schools and two government buildings in Calbayog City were bombed; NPA Commander Victor Corpuz raided the armoury of the Philippine Military Academy in Baguio City; and it was proven in the Supreme Court that that violence in the entire nation were done by the NPA to grab government power. Be reminded, that was 1970 -- there was no Martial Law yet in that year, that was two years before Martial Law.

In 1971, the Constitutional Convention Hall was bombed; Plaza Miranda was bombed; several oil firms, water utility pipes, electric utility substations, Congress building, COMELEC building, Meralco main office, and Doctors Pharmaceuticals headquarters in Metro Manila were bombed. Be reminded, that was 1971 -- there was no Martial Law yet in that year, that was one year before Martial Law.

In 1972, the US Embassy was bombed twice; the Greater Manila Terminal Food Market was bombed; the Arca Building was bombed; the Vietnamese Embassy was bombed; the Filipinas Orient Airways was bombed; the the Court of Industrial Relations was bombed; the Philippine Trust Company was bombed; the Philamlife Insurance building was bombed twice; the Tabacalera Cigar & Cigarette Factory Compound was bombed; the PLDT exchange office was bombed; the Philippine Sugar Institute building was bombed, the Department of Social Welfare building was bombed, main water line at Aurora Boulevard QC, Madison Avenue QC, San Juan, and Rizal was bombed; the Department of Foreign Affairs was bombed; the Joe’s Department Store was bombed; the Manila City Hall was bombed; the San Miguel Corporation building in Makati was bombed; and Quezon City Hall was bombed. All these were just bombings in Metro Manila. I have not yet enumerated the bombings, ambushes, assassinations, and massacres and war between the government and insurgents that happened in the provinces.

In Mindanao, the armed conflict between MNLF and the government troops had fell at least 100,000 soldiers in a span of three (3) years before Martial Law -- that's around 500 soldiers killed in action per week -- the Mamasapano incident is a chicken compared to the damage of the pre-Martial Law war between the MNLF and government.

My question is, what if today, all these havoc that I enumerated, happened three years ago, and you are the President, and Congress already recommended that you declare Martial Law, and Supreme Court approves that you declare it, would you look away scared and abandon your Constitutional Duty as Commander-in-Chief of the Military? Would you turn a deaf ears on the people's Congress and the Supreme Court? Would you turn a blind eye to carnage? That is my question to the Presidentiables in each election.

During Marcos time, let me recall what the government did.

Finally, in response to the four years (1968-1972) series of terrorism nationwide, Philippine Congress finally bit the bullet made use of the ultimate Constitutional provision wherein the state can declare Martial Law. Congress recommended Martial Law, the Supreme Court concurred to the recommendation of Congress as it was consistent with the 1935 Constitution, and President Ferdinand E. Marcos, dutifully and patriotically, declared Martial Law in September 21 of 1972. Hence, the 1972 Martial Law was a legitimate sanction of the three branches of the Philippine Government. As a matter of opinion, I could only imagine how serious the terror way back then that led to a self-sacrifice of Congress and Supreme Court to the point of recommending a Martial Law, knowing that their offices will be shelved when the Martial Law would be declared and implemented.

~ People fear Martial Law to recur.  This excerpt reflects history and the deliberatory process before Martial Law can occur then.  Now, it is even tighter.