Duterte won’t rule out martial law if drug problem remains unresolved

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has said he would consider declaring martial law if the drug problem in the country deteriorates, basically admitting that his current strategy of extrajudicial killings of thousands of supposed or actual drug dealers does not deliver the envisioned results.

As of mid-December, less than six months into his presidency, more than 6,000 people have been killed as part of that war on drugs. Dozens more have been reported killed since January 1, but it seems that the drug problem has not been tackled in any sustainable way yet.

However, Duterte said that “no one can stop” him from making a decision to declare martial law as he had to “protect the Filipino people.”

In his straightforward manner, he added that he “does not care” about the Supreme Court even though the 1987 Constitution of the Philippines states that the president can declare martial law up to 60 days “in case of invasion or rebellion.”

The constitution makes no mention of drug violence as a justification for declaring it. Congress and the Supreme Court also have the power to review any such declaration.

But Duterte said that his duty “to preserve the Filipino people, and the youth of this land” was sufficient to go the direct way.

“It’s not about invasion, insurrection. Not about danger. I will declare martial law to preserve my nation. Period,” he said.

Interestingly, Duterte said earlier in January that he had no plans of declaring martial law, saying it was “nonsense” as it did “not improve the lives of Filipinos” when it was declared in the past. 

The Philippines endured a decade of martial law from 1972 under then-dictator Ferdinand Marcos who cited the “threat of communist insurgency” in the country as reason for declaring it.

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has said he would consider declaring martial law if the drug problem in the country deteriorates, basically admitting that his current strategy of extrajudicial killings of thousands of supposed or actual drug dealers does not deliver the envisioned results. As of mid-December, less than six months into his presidency, more than 6,000 people have been killed as part of that war on drugs. Dozens more have been reported killed since January 1, but it seems that the drug problem has not been tackled in any sustainable way yet. However, Duterte said that "no one can stop"...

Reading Time: 1 minute

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has said he would consider declaring martial law if the drug problem in the country deteriorates, basically admitting that his current strategy of extrajudicial killings of thousands of supposed or actual drug dealers does not deliver the envisioned results.

As of mid-December, less than six months into his presidency, more than 6,000 people have been killed as part of that war on drugs. Dozens more have been reported killed since January 1, but it seems that the drug problem has not been tackled in any sustainable way yet.

However, Duterte said that “no one can stop” him from making a decision to declare martial law as he had to “protect the Filipino people.”

In his straightforward manner, he added that he “does not care” about the Supreme Court even though the 1987 Constitution of the Philippines states that the president can declare martial law up to 60 days “in case of invasion or rebellion.”

The constitution makes no mention of drug violence as a justification for declaring it. Congress and the Supreme Court also have the power to review any such declaration.

But Duterte said that his duty “to preserve the Filipino people, and the youth of this land” was sufficient to go the direct way.

“It’s not about invasion, insurrection. Not about danger. I will declare martial law to preserve my nation. Period,” he said.

Interestingly, Duterte said earlier in January that he had no plans of declaring martial law, saying it was “nonsense” as it did “not improve the lives of Filipinos” when it was declared in the past. 

The Philippines endured a decade of martial law from 1972 under then-dictator Ferdinand Marcos who cited the “threat of communist insurgency” in the country as reason for declaring it.

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