The Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) , the Philipppine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) , the Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. , and the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ACCP) are among big industry groups that expressed support to the recent declaration of a state of lawless violence by President Rodrigo Duterte.
The declaration was made, following a bomb blast which occured in a crowded night market in Davao City, which killed 14 people and injured more. There were reports the Abu Sayyaf group owned the killing.
The business groups downplayed fears raised by some quarters that the declaration might be a prelude to the imposition of martial law, even as they called for the government to set clearer parameters for the declaration.
MAP president Perry Pe said that the declaration was meant to allow soldiers to back up the police in setting up checkpoints and increasing patrols.
Pe recalled President’s campaign on peace and order and his promise to try to solve criminality in six months. “He’s exactly doing that,” he said.
ACCP senior advisor John D. Forbes, senior advisor at the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, said business required security in order to operate.
“Our members have experienced police and military actions in many countries in the fight against global terrorism, including in the Philippines. We do not see civil rights being affected by the state of lawless violence, a constitutional authority of the President to use the Armed Forces. Hopefully, more acts of terrorism will be prevented so as to guarantee security for Filipinos,” Forbes said.
On the other hand, PCCI president George T. Barcelon said the declaration was necessary in light of the threats facing the country.
“The protection of innocent lives takes priority so the tightening of (security) against a heinous group is a must,” he said.
Sergio R. Ortiz-Luis Jr., president of PEC, found no civil rights being curtailed by the declaration, which, he said, was just part of Mr. Duterte’s drive against terrorism and criminality.