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Panelo: State of lawlessness being drafted even before Davao blast

In this July 27, 2016 photo, Chief presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo attended the first State of the Nation Address of President Rodrigo Duterte. Philstar.com/Efigenio Toledo IV

MANILA, Philippines — Chief presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo on Sunday clarified that the proclamation of a “state of lawlessness” was already planned even before the night market blast in Davao City.

“Hindi na-trigger [ng pagsabog sa Davao ang pagdedeklara ng State of Lawlessness]. Actually, nasa planning stage na 'yan,” Panelo said in a radio interview with dzBB.

“In fact, nagda-draft na nga kami ng proclamation [para sa State of Lawlessness bago pa ang pagsabog sa Davao],” he added.

Panelo said the executive order on the state of lawlessness would most likely be released on Sunday or Monday. Duterte on Saturday morning made the declaration and called on the military to suppress lawless violence. 

The chief presidential legal counsel explained there were four factors that prompted Duterte to declare a state of lawless violence which include the anti-illegal drug campaign, criminality, terrorism and the Abu Sayyaf Group. He clarified that this state would be applied nationwide and not in just in Davao City.

“'Yung cinite kong mga problema ay nationwide din. 'Yung terorismo, hindi lang 'yan nakatutok sa Davao. Ang pagbabantang ginagawa nila ay dito sa Metro Manila, sa lahat ng malalaking siyudad, binabantaan nila na papasabugin tayo. Kaya bakit mo ilo-localized ang pagdedeklara mo [ng state of lawlessness],” Panelo said.

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“'Yung drug men are all over the land, ganundin ang kriminalidad so talagang dapat nationwide,” he added.

Panelo said despite tightened security measures, the public should not worry about a possible martial law and that the writ of habeas corpus would not be suspended. He said a curfew would depend on security forces while there will be increased checkpoints in various areas. 

“Ito ay upang magamit niya (Duterte) ang Sandatahang Lakas at magkaroon ng mas mahigpit na pagpapatupad...Walang nagbago, we can do our thing, our normal activities every day,” Panelo concluded.

RELATED: Palace: This is not martial law

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