Aquino warns of possible return of martial law in the Philippines

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Benigno Aquino Independence Day speechOutgoing Philippine President Benigno Aquino on June 12 warned his fellow countrymen and -women of the disastrous era of martial law under late dictator Ferdinand Marcos and said it “could happen again” in case Filipinos would not defend their rights of freedom and democracy.

In his last Independence Day speech before stepping down on June 30, Aquino hailed the transformation of the Philippines during his term from being the “Sick Man of Asia” to one of the fastest growing economies, reports Reuters. He said such progress came “without disregard for the rule of law, due process and human rights.”

But fears are that President-elect Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte could return to a more authoritarian path.

“If we are not going to be vigilant, it could happen again,” Aquino said.

Duterte remains hugely popular despite his comments about extrajudicial killings, calling bishops “sons of whores” and a joke about a murdered rape victim. His latest comment stirring controversy was as he said journalists were “not exempted from assassination,” but he later backpedaled and clarified that he does “not condone nor tolerate killing of journalists.”

Duterte has also said he would allow the burial of Marcos at the Philippines’ Heroes’ Cemetery, despite strong opposition by the Aquino family.

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Outgoing Philippine President Benigno Aquino on June 12 warned his fellow countrymen and -women of the disastrous era of martial law under late dictator Ferdinand Marcos and said it "could happen again" in case Filipinos would not defend their rights of freedom and democracy. In his last Independence Day speech before stepping down on June 30, Aquino hailed the transformation of the Philippines during his term from being the "Sick Man of Asia" to one of the fastest growing economies, reports Reuters. He said such progress came "without disregard for the rule of law, due process and human rights." But...

Reading Time: 1 minute

Benigno Aquino Independence Day speechOutgoing Philippine President Benigno Aquino on June 12 warned his fellow countrymen and -women of the disastrous era of martial law under late dictator Ferdinand Marcos and said it “could happen again” in case Filipinos would not defend their rights of freedom and democracy.

In his last Independence Day speech before stepping down on June 30, Aquino hailed the transformation of the Philippines during his term from being the “Sick Man of Asia” to one of the fastest growing economies, reports Reuters. He said such progress came “without disregard for the rule of law, due process and human rights.”

But fears are that President-elect Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte could return to a more authoritarian path.

“If we are not going to be vigilant, it could happen again,” Aquino said.

Duterte remains hugely popular despite his comments about extrajudicial killings, calling bishops “sons of whores” and a joke about a murdered rape victim. His latest comment stirring controversy was as he said journalists were “not exempted from assassination,” but he later backpedaled and clarified that he does “not condone nor tolerate killing of journalists.”

Duterte has also said he would allow the burial of Marcos at the Philippines’ Heroes’ Cemetery, despite strong opposition by the Aquino family.

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