Bombings could be a ploy to declare Martial Law, Ocampo

Jul. 20, 2009

Davao Today

DAVAO CITY Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo warned the government against taking advantage of the bombing incidents in Mindanao to declare a state of emergency in the country. Ocampos reaction was made after Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales said the government will use an iron fist’ to deal with the bombings.

Its possible that the government will use it to declare a state of national emergency and arrest enemies of the state, including the opposition, Ocampo said. He was in the city with progressive lawmakers to launch the nationwide signature campaign against Congress move to call for a Constituent Assembly to change the Constitution.

Protests against Charter change mount as the Presidents state of the nation address nears.

Wreckage of the Iligan bombing along Sabayle St. near the pier that injured 17 people. (MindaNews photo by Julius Vacalares)

Bombing incidents rocked Cotabato, Iligan and Sulu in recent weeks. An explosion in front of the Immaculate Conception cathedral in Cotabato City killed five people on July 5 and wounded 31 others. Two days later, two separate blasts occurred in Iligan and in Sulu. The Iligan blast hurt 17 people while the explosion near the Mt. Carmel church in Jolo, Sulu killed six people and injured 40 others.

As a result, the Task Force Davao conducted bomb drills at the Ecoland bus terminal, the Gaisano mall and the Matina barangay hall to test the citys readiness against possible attacks.

But Bishop Felixberto Calang, convenor of Initiatives for Peace in Mindanao, called for an independent probe on the bombings. He raised the possibility that the military could be behind these incidents after a recent expose by former agent of the Intelligence Service Armed Forces of the Philippines Vidal Doble.

The Isafp-agent-turned-whistleblower said there was an order from higher military authorities to stage few bombings in Mindanao to create destabilization.

Calang said the bombings could have also been timed for the state of the nation address of the President to make it appear that the present administration should stay in power to keep the people safe, he said.

Amirah Ali Lidasan, national president of Suara Bangsamoro, also warned military officials against quickly blaming the Moro Islamic Liberation Front or any Muslim organization as responsible for the bombing.

This will only lead to further discrimination of Muslims and will affect the ongoing peace efforts, she said.

Ocampo said that whoever may be responsible for the blasts, the government should not use it to justify their Draconian measures. (Grace S. Uddin/

comments powered by Disqus