Saturday, December 12, 2009

Teddy Boy Locsin Lawyers For Martial Law

By Dean Jorge Bocobo

Below is the speech given by Makati Rep. Teodoro "Teddy Boy" Locsin, Jr. at the Joint Session of Congress deliberating  Presidential Proclamation 1959 Martial Law in Maguindanao.  Original source is MLQ3's Scribd post: Teodoro Locsin, Jr Pro-Martial Law, which however is hard to cut and paste from, so here it is in html format, interspersed with some initial commentary and YouTube video. More in the Comment Thread and on my Twitter account from the last few days.

"This is how I sum up the government’s case."

Makati Congressman Teodoro M. Locsin, Jr. lawyers for Martial Law during the historic Joint Session of Congress.

"It is not without irony that I stand here defending martial law. But I do defend it.

"Nowhere and at no other time has it been better justified nor based more sufficiently on incontrovertible facts. Facts that call, indeed, cry out for the most extreme exercise of the police power, which is nothing less than martial law. Facts, not legal quibbles. Facts, not semantic distinctions of debatable validity. Look at the bodies, look at the arms stockpiles.

"Is rebellion as defined by the Penal Code a necessary condition for the validity of a proclamation of martial law?
Teddy Boy knows the answer is YES--not only necessary but sufficient since the Constitution expressly provides in  Art VII Sec. 18  that  "In case of invasion or rebellion, when the public safety requires it, he may, for a period not exceeding sixty days, suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or place the Philippines or any part thereof under martial law."
"Then where is the definition of invasion in the Penal Code for the validity of martial law in that case? Since the repeal of the AntiSubversion Act, ideology is not a component of rebellion.

"I submit that rebellion here is not an exclusive reference to a particular provision of a particular law; but to a wide yet unmistakable, general but not indiscriminate allusion to a state of affairs that has deteriorated beyond lawless violence, beyond a state of emergency, to an obstinate refusal to discharge properly the functions of civil government in the area, by, of all people, the duly constituted but now obstructive authorities therein.
The above constitutes in effect, Teddy Boy's definition  of  REBELLION as a state of affairs that exists beyond lawless violence, beyond even a state of emergency that achieves a horrendous condition in which civil government obstinately refuses to properly discharge its functions--a condition most Filipinos might recognize in their own local governments everywhere, not just Maguindanao.
"It may be easier to repeat what Justice Potter Stewart said about pornography than to fix once and for all the meaning of the words rebellion and invasion, in a swiftly changing world, where both words can take on myriad realities. He said he couldn’t exactly define pornography but “I know it when I see it.” 

"We are seeing Maguindanao and what we see, unless we are morally blind, cries out for martial law—at least for now. Here was an obstinate refusal to obey the law and the lawful commands of the national government, so as to constitute, on the part of the once duly constituted authorities, an illegal usurpation of the government offices they once legally held; exercising them now, not for the purposes of law, nor with the aim of doing justice, but to use the powers and functions of that same government to frustrate the law, to perpetuate injustice, to protect the perpetrators of the most horrible crime in Philippine history, and to preserve the political influence that inspired the perpetrators with the idea that they could commit such a crime with total impunity. 

"This state of affairs calls for nothing less than martial law; however you quibble with words. It calls for martial law because just calling out the armed forces was tried and proved wanting to quell lawless violence and restore civil government. The proclamation of martial  law, which was addressed as much at the armed forces as at Maguindanao, send the signal to all and sundry: henceforth soldiers are no longer to obey nor to fear the politicians they were once made to serve and pander to, in derogation of their professional integrity, in the name of a misguided strategy of mutual deterrence in the ongoing secessionist conflict. 

"No, now the soldiers are beholden only to the law and the lawful institutions like the Executive and Congress in Joint Session Assembled. Martial Law sends the needed signal to our soldiers and police that now they need no longer be respecters of special persons but only of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, of the civil and criminal laws, of the State and not the temporary occupants of its public offices. Thus are soldiers and police emboldened to do their proper duty, to use their lawful force to the utmost lawful extent, as to achieve the specific aim of the proclamation; which, in this case, is to arrest with proper warrants anyone and everyone remotely connected to the massacre. 

"There is no constitutional immunity from arrest, only from arrest without warrant and detention without charge. And then proceed, as I hope they are doing, to destroy the political infrastructure of one warlord family—though I hope not to favor the other one—and permanently dismantle their political influence in the province—though I hope not to establish the political influence of the other warlord clan. But that is only my hope. It is martial law that shocked and awed the elements of the Ampatuan army to surrender without a fight. 

"This is the smallest atonement that the national government and the Ampatuans can make for the worst crime in Philippine history—the national government for arming them and the Ampatuans for using those arms so hideously. It is asked: If there is martial law to round up the Ampatuans, why not extend the martial law to contain the MILF and even go after the drug trade? 

"Willoughby suggests that a proclamation of martial law should have a specific aim and should not wander from that aim, that that aim being achieved, the mission should be declared accomplished, and martial law lifted in the area. Anyway, it can be re‐imposed again, and again, and again, and again— as it can be reviewed by the Congress in Joint Session as frequently. To this day, martial law in Maguindanao has not, despite the martial energy it has imparted to the military and police, occasioned a single abuse. True, soldiers kicked down the door to Governor Ampatuan’s hospital room. That is not an offense in law. Lese majeste is not a crime in a democracy. 

"That is not even an offense against the door, because a door has no legal standing to complain of being kicked even before the Supreme Court. Remember, soldiers kicked the door and not the governor. And it was a hospital door. The hospital can seek damages, if it dares, after harboring a fugitive. Our soldiers have not violated a single fundamental right, not even of the perpetrators of this hideous crime. Far from it, our soldiers have secured the fundamental rights of the ordinary people of Maguindanao from the depredations of the Ampatuan family and its goons, whether in their lingering terror of this family they admit it or not. This is known as the Stockholm Syndrome. 

"So here, by whatever name you choose to call it, is a situation comprising an obstinate, querulous, snarling, vicious, refusal to obey the laws and the lawful orders of the government, on the part of a now renegade government and escalating from stubborn resistance to threatening posture, so as to constitute in the mind of the Executive a threat so certain that its actuality could only be established beyond cavil by the senseless sacrifice of soldiers to prove the threat real and not just looming or imminent. This state of affairs includes what the Penal Code calls sedition and a host of other felonies and offenses; but which, regardless of which definition you prefer, constitutes for any reasonable person a state of conflict. 

"What Willoughby said, referring to martial law enforcers, ironically applies not to our soldiers but to their targets, the Ampatuans and their henchmen. “No man in this country is so high that he is above the law” as the Ampatuans believed. “No officer of the law may set that law at defiance with impunity.” The Ampatuans were the first to impose martial law in Maguindanao without any basis but their undying thirst for power, which could only be slaked by the blood of anyone they disliked. To the martial law of the Ampatuans, the only adequate response was martial law by the government, which is the exercise of the inherent police power to secure the public safety through the armed forces. True, the courts were functioning when martial law was proclaimed, And true all government offices were open for business—but it was only for monkey business, for the benefit only of the Ampatuans, and against the lawful requirements of the State. 

"The civil registrar refused to issue death certificates for the victims of the Maguindanao Massacre, I guess because he could not put mass suicide as the cause of death. It has been suggested in this House that, while the Maguindanao Massacre allegedly happened, it was not the perpetrators who did it. I guess it was suicide. In military doctrine, Mr. Senate President and former Defense Minister Enrile, capability amounts to intent. 

"That this fully documented capability and inclination to mount armed mayhem came from the legally constituted provincial government of Maguindanao only compounded the gravity of the situation and brought it within the ambit of the historical precedents that have so wisely informed the jurisprudence of martial law as I vividly recall from 1972. It is, as Secretary Puno aptly compared, as though regular battalions of the AFP had gone renegade. Was the danger so substantial as to warrant martial law? How many really are the loyalists of the Ampatuans? A thousand, two, three?

"I would answer, 50 is already a lot because from newspaper accounts over the years, encounters between AFP units and MILF forces of that size but superior weaponry usually result in—what?—25 percent casualties among our troops? Is it proposed that we should have sacrificed our soldiers, by leaving them as sitting ducks, until the Ampatuans drew first blood, just to banish baseless not to mention insincere fears that this martial law is legally flawed? 

"I have heard it said that the biggest danger of this martial law is that, if it succeeds, will have a demonstration effect convincing the general public that perhaps the Army, like the French with regard to sex, just do it better when it comes to securing the public safety. Well, what of it? Is it proposed that we let the public suffer, that we leave a community terrorized and paralyzed by monsters, just so we can stop the Army from proving that they can do some things better? Why this instinctive suspicion and contempt of our soldiers? These are not soldiers of Marcos’s martial law, some of whom, let us not forget where critical to the toppling of the dictatorship. Far from violating any fundamental rights, our soldiers are securing those rights for everyone in Maguindanao against the depredations of this warlord clan. 

"Why this instinctive mistrust of the armed forces without whose sacrifices our country would be smaller by one third? And for their sacrifices, what is the soldier’s pay? Piddling. What are the soldiers’ rations? A can of sardines and a small reused plastic bag of old rice. And what is their recompense? Ingratitude and suspicion. I say leave this martial law to complete its mission. It shouldn’t take long.


Jesusa Bernardo said...

Intellectually corrupt at its most grandiloquent. This Teddy Boy would not happen to be related to the iconic Teodoro M. Locsin, right? Huh.

Why, oh why? Rather, how much....

baycas2 said...

on teddy boy locsin:

shape of things to come when he’s finally appointed to the Highest Court of the Land?

brain power as reported in inquirer:

“It’s time to use my brain at its full capacity before I get too old and lose it altogether,” Locsin said.


To the distinguished gentleman from Makati:

There is always the “instinctive suspicion and contempt of” the commander-in-chief on whose command to our soldiers emanate from…

The commander-in-chief you once indirectly described on national radio as the one who “lied, cheated, stole, and did a cover-up.”

Good luck on your bid to the SC!


To Locsin again:

What is palpable in Maguindanao at present “cries out for martial law.”

Pray tell, why ML wasn’t “crying out” when “actual clash of arms” against the insurgents ( as pointed out by Kiko Pangilinan ) happened several times in the past?


The civil registrar refused to issue death certificates for the victims of the Maguindanao Massacre, I guess because he could not put mass suicide as the cause of death.
- Teddy Boy Locsin

Mindanews reports however…

AMPATUAN, Maguindanao (MindaNews/11 December) — The deputy local civil registrar here said they have not issued any death certificate for the victims of the Ampatuan Massacre of November 23, because no one has come to ask and they have no data to base the certificates on.

Sailila Macmod, assistant civil registrar, assured reporters in an interview Thursday that the death certificates would be issued as soon as they receive the signed forms and corresponding attachments.

Macmod denied reports they were ordered by Maguindanao Governor Datu Andal Ampatuan, Sr., not to issue the certificates.

He said they cannot prepare the death certificates without the names and other pertinent data.

Macmod also said the town hall was padlocked by the police and military from December 3 to December 8.

baycas2 said...

My comment at mlq3's site the next day of the 1st day of the Joint Session...

It is enough to invoke the first sentence of Sec. 18 of Art. VII of the 1987 Constitution, the Commander-in-Chief provision:

The President shall be the Commander-in-Chief of all armed forces of the Philippines and whenever it becomes necessary, he may call out such armed forces to prevent or suppress lawless violence, invasion or rebellion.

I think the preceding Alan Paguia’s assertion (done last night at GNN during the Joint Suspension) is right on the dot. No need for ML proclamation inasmuch as there is no ACTUAL invasion or rebellion. Prevention or suppression of lawless violence, invasion or rebellion by all armed forces of the Philippines is just what is needed.

I believe the looming lawless violence or rebellion may easily allow courts to grant arrest and search warrants.

Well, that should be the case in ordinary times…but in extraordinary circumstances such as the time when government Ampatuan Frankenstein’s deeds are at their peak and the looming 2004 and 2007 electoral frauds confirmation, I believe, gloria et al will go to the extent of justifying an UNnecessary action…

Always something new with this administration…ever since the constructive resignation was innovated…


well, it's probable that most will utter "all's well that ends well."

ML lifted...

it came ahead of the expected medical bulletin from St. Luke's re: gloria's check-up.

do we expect a "back-to-back good news" or the most often scenario of a "good news first, bad news later?"

strike3 said...

such irony here. teddyboy jr's family was one of those who first felt the brunt of the martial law proclamation by during the marcos presidency. and here he is defending ML to the hilt. Mar was pretty impressive with his questions during the joint session. not like that buffoon biazon.

bluelabel_09 said...

the joint session showed how much better mar was as compared to his running mate.