Monday, October 10, 2005

State Of Emergency Draft

The government is ready to take-over vital public utilities such as power, tranportation and telecommunications in case of a crisis.

Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez today disclosed to justice reporters that a formal draft for the proclamation of a state of national emergency has been prepared.

This was the same document, Gonzalez said, that was rumored to have been a draft proclamation of martial law.

Gonzalez earlier said he had asked his staff to research the legal basis for a government take-over of public utilities.

"It has evolved into a declaration of a state of emergency," Gonzalez said.

The five-page document, he said, is entitled "Proclamation Declaring A State of National Emergency."

The basis, he said, is Sec. 17, Art. 12 of the Constitution which says that the "(government) can temporarily take over or direct the operation of any privately-owned public utility or business affected with public interest. "

But Gonzalez said the government is not about to declate a state of emergency. He said factors such as widespread terrorism and rebellion should be present. "Not even the high price of oil would warrant such a declaration," he said.

Gonzalez added that this is very different from a martial law proclamation.

"The only ones who will be affected will be the vital industries. Civil liberties will not be affected," he said.

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