Catholic bishop commended for pro-martial law views


Posted at Dec 08 2009 10:13 PM | Updated as of Dec 09 2009 06:16 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang on Tuesday praised Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Quevedo for his "sober" views on the declaration of martial law in Maguindanao.

"This is worthwhile, a very sober analysis, a very balanced leader of a religious leader in the area, especially those far away," said Press Secretary Cerge Remonde.

On Monday, Quevedo, a former president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), said he favors the imposition of martial law given the “complex” situation in Maguindanao.

“The complexity and abnormality of the situation and the need for swift justice for 57 brutally massacred innocent civilians would dictate an extraordinary measure. Since martial law has been declared, let it be. Let the lawyers debate it. I pray that martial law resolve the abnormal situation and deal swift justice for the victims,” Quevedo said in a statement.

Quevedo said the peace and justice situation in Mindanao is “very complex,” noting that arms proliferation, liquidation, kidnappings, and  "rido" (clan wars) between political clans have become the ways of life there.

He observed that “media and politicians from far away Manila do not seem to be familiar with these social, political and cultural situation….(as) they seem to think that the police and the military can easily go into an area and just arrest the suspected culprits.”

However, Quevedo said martial law should be a temporary measure, only for a decisive resolution of the problems in Maguindanao.

“Once it is no longer necessary, it must immediately cease. The shorter time the better. This is because of the double-edged nature of martial law," he said. "The longer it is exercised, the more likely it would be for human rights to be violated and for weapons to be used for evil." -- with a report from Aries Rufo,