By Azer N. Parrocha
MANILA, Sept 3 (PNA) — Senators on Saturday asked President Rodrigo Duterte to clarify what he meant by declaring a state of lawlessness or a state of lawless violence in the country after bomb attacks rocked Davao City Friday night.
Senate Minority Leader Ralph Recto said that the President must explain and elaborate in writing his verbal statement to set things straight.
“A written order will prescribe the specifics and the limits of such declaration, and would result in the clearer enumeration of the activities permitted and prohibited, if any, during the period,” Recto said.
Recto also said that if placed in presidential proclamation, the nation will be properly informed of the metes and bounds of the state of lawlessness.
He further said that it will also direct authorities of the restrictions to be followed in issuing and implementing orders.
“By detailing the elements of the declaration, confusion is avoided, orders are made concise, and the so-called fog of war is avoided,” he added.
Senator Antonio “Sonny” Trillanes IV said that Duterte’s declaration is “not warranted at this time.”
“What is needed is less big talking and more series intel work,” Trillanes said.
He meanwhile described the bomb attack in Davao as a “grim reminder” that the country’s illegal drug problem is “not the biggest and definitely not the only national security threat to our country.”
Senator Richard “Dick” Gordon meanwhile backed the president noting that the Constitution allowed him to do so.
“The President as Commander-in-chief has now called out our armed forces to suppress lawless violence. Our Constitution allows him to do so and taken alone he is not suspending the privilege of the writ of Habeas Corpus or proclaiming martial law,” Gordon said.
He explained that the Davao bombing is an act of terrorism that must be “outlawed” by the full force of the law as provided in the Human Security Act of 2007 and other anti-terrorism measures.
The senator meanwhile called on Filipinos to support the President and the armed forces, police forces and their families as well.
He said that bomb attacks in Davao have happened before and called for constant vigilance.
Other senators condemned the attacks and sympathized with the victims and their families.
“I sympathize with the relatives and friends of those killed and hurt. I pray that they receive the justice to start their lives anew,” Senator Nancy Binay said in a statement.
She also called on citizens from Davao and nearby areas to stay calm and safe in all times and for the entire country to stand united.
“We must stand united to fight violence and terror. Let us all stand ready to lend our support in solidarity with the people of Davao,” she added.
Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, like Binay, called on Filipinos to stand as a nation.
“Stand together in mourning and offering our love and condolences to the victims, to their loved ones, and to Davao,” Cayetano said.
“Stand behind our nation’s and our President’s fight against drugs and criminality, which includes the viciousness of the ASG (Abu Sayaff Group),” he added.
Senator Joel Villanueva condemned the attack and described it as act of terrorism as “cowardly and atrocious”.
He noted that terror succeeds only if the country will allow the attack to sow fear among Filipinos and encouraged everyone to join hands and pray.
“It is important that we join our hands in solidarity with the Davaoenos and remain vigilant. Let us support the authorities as they investigate this dastardly act and ensure the security of the nation,” he added.