Martial law impact on business seen minimal
On the off chance of a nationwide martial law, Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said the business community would not suffer any grave repercussions, noting that investors preferred an environment where they “feel safer.”
Lopez said this as he dismissed concerns that the martial law in Mindanao had dampened business operations on the island. When asked if the same business confidence could be sustained in the hypothetical scenario of a nationwide martial law, he said that he expected the same stability to remain.
President Duterte previously warned that he might extend the coverage of martial rule from just Mindanao to the entire country should the terrorist threat reach Luzon following the ongoing attacks in Marawi City by groups inspired by the Islamic State.
While some dismissed Duterte’s statement as speculative, this raised concerns among many social circles who denounced any semblance of the Marcos dictatorship from coming back, a dark part of Philippine history marked by documented human rights violations among other grievances.
Business groups, however, have been generally supportive of the declaration of martial law in Mindanao, noting how this would help address the peace-and-order situation, which has gone out of hand with the recent terrorist attacks.
“If for the purposes of being preventive and it [martial law] would be declared nationwide, hypothetically, it would be the same sense of security,’’ Lopez said in a mix of Filipino and English —ROY STEPHEN C. CANIVEL
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