"One has to ask who the real enemies of the republic are."
That was the challenge given by Antonio P. Contreras, a columnist at the Manila Times and a full-time professor at De La Salle University, in his article entitled "Enemies of the Republic".
In the said article, Contreras had laid out the facts and anomalies that arose from the previous executive session attended to by the Senate.
The session was supposed to be a confidential briefing on the President's Proclamation 216, placing the entire Mindanao under Martial Law.
Professor Contreras claimed that the opposition, headed by Senator Antonio Trillanes, together with Risa Hontiveros, Bam Aquino, Franklin Drillon, and Kiko Pangilinan, "broke the protocol, and committed a major break of confidentiality, by disclosing to the public the admission by Defense Secretary Delin Lorenzana that martial law was not needed to address the problem in Marawi."
"However, the opposition senators disclosed only that part of Lorenzana's testimony that would be beneficial to their agenda, but did not disclose the part where the defense secretary affirmed the need for martial law to solve the problem of the entire island of Mindanao. Considering that martial law was declared for all of Mindanao, and not only for Marawi, the selective and highly unethical disclosure by the opposition senators reeked of malice and was deliberately misleading," claimed Contreras in his article.
Professor ntonio Contreras cited the video which was presented during the said briefing showing Isnilon Hapilon, together with the Maute brothers, as they plan to seize Marawi City. He also claimed that all the conditions to declare martial law were there in the video.
"The video is damning evidence of a rebellion. After all, the intent of the terrorists was to occupy a territory of the republic and remove it from the control of the government. With well-documented intelligence reports confirming that Isnilon Hapilon was the anointed emir tasked to turn Lanao into a wilayat, or a province of the Daesh or the Islamic State, what was also established was the onset of an innovation by a foreign terrorist force implanting itself in our territory."
Contreras furthered his speculation against the leaders of the opposition claiming that:
"Instead of expressing support for our troops battling the terrorist forces, they even blame them for creating the condition for the carnage…Instead of looking at the flag of the IS as a horrifying specter that represents beheadings, they saw it simply as a propaganda symbol, even as they continue to wallow in the symbolisms of the Marcosian martial law."
He also mentioned several actions made by the opposition to debunk the current President Duterte and oppose his martial law declaration. Some of those actions include: senator Hontiveros' defense for the Maute group by redefining the meaning of rebellion, the filing of a case to the Supreme Court by seven members of the House of representatives urging the court to review the grounds considered by the president for the proclamation of martial law; the petition filed by Representatives Lagman, Baguilat, Erice, Alejano, Daza, Billones and Villarin; and the previous travel of Senator Trillanes together with Rep. Alejano to the Hague to file an official complaint to the ICC against President Duterte.
All these activities carried out by the opposition made Contreras conclude that the opposition has been actually blinded by their anger towards the President as well as by their desire to oust Duterte, to the extent of conforming to terrorism and the threats associated with it. As how Contreras had put it in his article:
"Members of the political opposition hate this President so much that they unwittingly end up serving the interests of terror…One has to ask who the real enemies of the republic are."