By: Jullie Y. Daza
MARTIAL law in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, soon?
Short of going straight to Malacañang or Davao City for an answer – even so, the President could prove evasive – the person to consult was Juan Ponce Enrile, architect of Martial Law under Ferdinand Marcos, never mind that it was a happy occasion last Sunday when he was cornered in his house for his reading of Digong’s intentions.
Will Mr. Duterte proclaim martial law? JPE: “He has a bigger problem (than Marcos did). NPA, ISIS, Mindanao-MNLF-BIFF-ASG, drugs. . . It was easier for us then, with the military and police under one department, which was under me.”
“Every government uses its powers for survival. When you challenge the monopoly of the state to use guns and you resort to violence,” disruption could ensue. Is martial law the answer? “It depends on the magnitude” of the disruption.
“Aren’t you thankful that Duterte came by, raking up all these problems?”
Will you support him if he declares martial law? “Whether I support him or not, (if) we’re under martial law. . .”
What would you do if you were president? “I will calibrate it.”
“Ever heard of Cominter? Communist International Movement. North Korea is the prototype of the society that some people (here) espouse.”
More worrisome than martial law, JPE sees war clouds looming over the horizon. China is putting up structures on the South China Sea, our West Philippine Sea, in anticipation of a shortage of fuel. Will China-Taiwan-Japan come together while North Korea continues to display its nuclear capabilities? Where will South Korea position itself?
JPE: “We will be swept along.”
The 93-year-old JPE and his Cristina, 13 years younger, marked their 60th wedding anniversary last Sunday at home, with their two children, eight grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and friends who have stayed true over the years. At the presidential table, guests were a mix of friends and frenemies, former Presidents Arroyo and Estrada, Imelda Marcos, former VP Binay, Senators Honasan, Sotto, Jinggoy, Gordon.
But it was their daughter Katrina who declared the Marital Law of the day: “Like all marriages, my mom’s and dad’s marriage is not perfect, probably will never be, but the love between them is unique, and I honor this bond. I’m the happiest person here tonight.”