MANILA-- If it will not put soldiers in harm's way or jeopardize future operations, a senator on Thursday asked Malacanang to make public the intelligence reports it has used as the basis in asking Congress to extend the period of martial law in Mindanao until the end of the year.
Senate Pres. Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto made this call noting that if it will identify the threats but not the deployment of our forces, the public has the right to know.
Let us not embargo all reports. Ibigay natin sa taumbayan ang pwedeng i-share sa kanila (Let's give the public what we can share with them), Recto said in a statement.
He explained that this way, the public could also decide for themselves if an extension of martial law is justified because a release of curated information to the public will educate them.
Moreover, he said that public support for martial law must be an informed choice.
What has been shared to 24 senators and almost 300 congressmen should be shared to the public as well. There's no harm in such a disclosure, provided it has been purged of its sensitive contents, Recto said.
He pointed out that documents and reports presented to them by national security officials are not so revealing and explosive that they can only be discussed in whispers.
These closed-door briefings only add mystery. But content-wise, hindi naman talaga ganoon ka-delikado na you (it's not really dangerous) must first take a vow of secrecy before hearing them, the senator said.
If terrorists are knocking on our doors, or if they're already inside, then transparency is the best policy, he added.
Source: Philippines News Agency