President Rodrigo Duterte's allies in the Makabayan bloc urged him to quit talking about martial law after a new study indicated that Filipinos do not see it as the way to solve the country's problems.
A survey conducted by Pulse Asia around the country in December showed that 74 percent of 1,200 respondents disagreed with the statement, "Candidly speaking, it may be necessary now to have martial law to solve the many crises of the nation."
Considering these results, Anakpawis Representative Ariel Casilao said that they will continue to hold their position that martial law "is not the way."
Bayan Muna Representative Carlos Zarate said Duterte should listen to the people, as the survey reflects their sentiments.
"As a leader, dapat pakinggan niya ang sentimyento ng mamamayan. Matagal nang sinasabi ng mamamayan, 'Never again.'"
"Sana magsilbi ito na maging eye-opener, ito sinasabi na ng taumbayan at biktima. Dapat irespeto niya din itong survey na ito," ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro said.
In a separate statement, Duterte critic, Albay Representative Edcel Lagman said, "The people have spoken. President Duterte and his men must stop talking about tinkering with the revival of martial law.”
The bases for the declaration of martial law, such as invasion and rebellion, when public safety requires it, are also absent, he said.
According to Pulse Asia, anti-martial law sentiment was highest in Metro Manila (82 percent), followed by Mindanao (75 percent), Luzon (74 percent), and Visayas (65 percent).
Across socio-economic classes, those who disagreed with the statement were mostly from the D sector (76 percent), and ABC (75 percent).
Duterte had previously remarked that the country's chief executive should be allowed to declare martial law without legislative or judicial approval.
However, he also said that he would only declare it in case of a foreign invasion, because for him, martial law is "useless" especially if not all who would enforce it agree with him.