Martial Law is in place covering all of Mindanao. It went into effect last night (at the time of writing), May 23, at 10 PM.
In the past 24 hours, I have received more than 1,400 messages from people asking me what I thought about it, if I was safe, and other such things.
Let me say, it is way to early to be able to say what I think about it. So far, life has not changed. Today (Wednesday as I am writing) is no different than yesterday was, even though yesterday we were living in a free society, and today we are living under Martial Law. The military is in command. But, my life has not changed.
I am sure that over the coming days and weeks we will see some changes, once we start seeing what happens, I will better know what I think about this.
When President Duterte declared Martial Law for Mindanao he specified that it will last for 60 days. Under Philippine Law. the Congress must approve this. If they do not approve it, I guess the martial law is supposed to end, although I don’t think there is any precedent where that has happened, so these are untested waters.
Yesterday morning the news reports started coming in that there was a suicide bombing, done by ISIS, in Manchester, England, at a concert. I found it disgusting that ISIS would go after young children and such, but that is their nature.
As we got into the early evening, I started seeing reports on my Facebook feed about “street war” going on in Marawi City. Marawi City is kind of the “Capitol of Islamic Faith” in Mindanao. It is in Lanao del Sur Province, very far from Davao City where I live. I have visited Marawi several times, and find it kind of a fascinating place.
As the night got older, the news feed started getting more specific, and the word was that ISIS was responsible for the street fighting in Marawi. In my 2017 predictions earlier this year, I predicted that ISIS would become active this year in the Philippines. Unfortunately, it appears that I was correct on that one. Anyway, now the ISIS website is claiming that they are in control of Marawi City.
If President Duterte declared martial law simply to do a quick job of clearing out terrorists in Mindanao, and civil liberties of the rest of the people are not effected, I can’t argue against it. It is probably overdue. But, we have to see what happens. I can’t really give an opinion right now, because I don’t know what will happen. Like I said, life has not changed so far.
Is Martial Law Unusual?
In recent history, in many different countries, these kinds of “martial law” situations have become somewhat commonplace, although they have not always been called martial law.
In the USA, after 9/11 a lot of special powers were put into place to help combat terrorism and protect the people. Much of that is still in place, especially the Patriot Act.
In other countries, I have Europe in mind (France, Belgium, etc) where they have had numerous terrorist incidents they have also had to implement certain extra powers for the government in order to put down these kinds of threats.
So, governments imposing these kinds of extra powers is not an unusual thing these days.
I am not saying that I am for these extra powers or that I am against it. I do not intend to argue about it. I am only sharing that this situation is not out of the norm.
If martial law is used to crack down on people’s liberties, then that is a problem, but only time will tell.
We are safe
A lot of people are asking me if I am safe. Yes, I am safe. As I have mentioned numerous times, life is the same as yesterday. I feel no safety problems at this time, and hopefully it will stay that way.
I will say that in my opinion the bigger threat to safety is from the terrorists and not from the government. I hope that government can stomp out these terrorists, nothing would be better, but that has always proved an elusive goal in most parts of the world.
Stay safe, everybody!