Pubdate: Sun, 15 Jan 2017
Source: Philippine Star (Philippines)
Contact:  PhilSTAR Daily Inc. 2017
Author: Rosette Adel


President Rodrigo Duterte said no one could stop him from imposing martial
law. PPD/Ace Morandante

MANILA, Philippines -- President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday evening said
that if the drug problem in the country worsens, he would declare martial

Duterte said that no one could stop him from imposing martial law if the
country's situation becomes "virulent," citing that he does not care about
the Supreme Court.

"Kung gusto ko at if it will deteriorate into something really very
virulent, I will declare martial law if I wanted to. Walang makapigil sa
akin," Duterte said in a speech during the 49th annual installation of
officers and board of trustees of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and
Industry Incorporated.

"Wala akong pakialam diyan sa Supreme Court, because the thing, the right
to preserve one's life and my nation. My country transcends everything
else even the limitations," he said.

Duterte did not specify the "virulent" situation he mentioned.

The chief executive also discussed that preserving the nation may trigger
him to declare martial law while defending his war on drugs. He said he
would be prompted to impose martial law not because of invasion but
because he has a duty to preserve the youth and the Filipinos.

"And I tell you now, If I have to declare martial law, I will declare it,
not about [because] of invasion, insurrection, not about [because] of
danger I will declare martial law to preserve my nation. Period," he said.

In his speech, Duterte also slammed the Commission on Human Rights for
questioning the deaths without asking why the people died.

Duterte said martial law is just a piece of paper, citing that it did not
prevent former President Fidel Ramos and former Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile
from getting back to office. He said he does not care if the Congress or
Senate calls for his impeachment as long as he is fulfilling his duty.

He admitted that he cannot control the judiciary and the Congress as
intruding those might be deemed unconstitutional. However, he said that
when it calls for it, he would impose martial law without their approval.

"Makaya natin, pagdating ng panahon, madali iyan. Wala na iyang 60 days,
60 days," he said.

The 1987 Constitution states that the president may place the Philippines
under martial law for no more than 60 days and only in case of invasion or
rebellion or when the public safety requires it.

Duterte previously said the Congress and SC should have no say in
declaration of martial law.

On December 29, Duterte said that only an invasion from another country
would compel him to place the country under martial law, saying the policy
would lead to the "downfall of the country."
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