Duterte: No na­tion­wide mar­tial law un­less there’s wide­spread vi­o­lence

Sun Star Bacolod - - Top Stories -

THERE will be no dec­la­ra­tion of mar­tial law in the en­tire coun­try, Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte re­it­er­ated on Tues­day, Novem­ber 27, dis­pelling spec­u­la­tions that his or­der to de­ploy ad­di­tional troops to parts of the Visayas and Bi­col was a pre­lude to na­tion­wide mar­tial rule.

“You are all in­ter­ested to know if I am go­ing to de­clare mar­tial law or not. No, I am not go­ing to de­clare mar­tial law,” the Pres­i­dent told re­porters in Panglao, Bo­hol.

But he floated the pos­si­bil­ity of declar­ing it if there is a "wide­spread vi­o­lence.”

“There [are] enough pow­ers of the pres­i­dency na mag­a­mit ko (that I can use). Well, kung ta­la­gang (if re­ally) it's wide­spread vi­o­lence, then maybe [I will de­clare na­tion­wide mar­tial law]. But I do not need re­ally vi­o­lence in ev­ery cor­ner of the Philip­pines to say that we are in dan­ger," Duterte said.

His state­ment came amid claims of his crit­ics that his or­der to de­ploy ad­di­tional po­lice and mil­i­tary forces to Sa­mar, Ne­gros Ori­en­tal, Ne­gros Oc­ci­den­tal, and Bi­col is a pre­lude to a dec­la­ra­tion of mar­tial law all through­out the coun­try.

Duterte's Mem­o­ran­dum Or­der 32, inked on Novem­ber 22, cited the re­cent "spo­radic acts of vi­o­lence" in four ar­eas cov­ered by the di­rec­tive.

The mem­o­ran­dum is meant to "sup­press law­less vi­o­lence and acts of ter­ror" and "pre­vent such vi­o­lence from spread­ing and es­ca­lat­ing else­where in the coun­try," while re­spect­ing the pub­lic's con­sti­tu­tional rights.

Duterte said the se­ries of law­less vi­o­lence in Sa­mar, Ne­gros Ori­en­tal, Ne­gros Oc­ci­den­tal and Bi­col was the only rea­son be­hind the is­suance of the di­rec­tive.

“I'm sur­prised why you are so in­ter­ested about de­ploy­ment when I'm sup­posed to take care of the se­cu­rity of the coun­try,” he said.

“I will do what is nec­es­sary to pre­serve this na­tion and to pro­tect the peo­ple. That is my oath of of­fice," the Pres­i­dent added.

Un­der the mem­o­ran­dum, the mil­i­tary, po­lice, and Jus­tice de­part­ment are in­structed to in­ten­sify their in­tel­li­gence op­er­a­tions against in­di­vid­u­als or groups sus­pected of or re­spon­si­ble for com­mit­ting acts of law­less vi­o­lence in the coun­try.

The mem­o­ran­dum also man­dates the prompt in­ves­ti­ga­tion and pros­e­cu­tion of in­di­vid­u­als or groups be­hind acts of law­less vi­o­lence./sun­star Philip­pines

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