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Duterte declares 'state of lawlessness' after Davao blast

Kristine Daguno-Bersamina - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED 11:06 a.m.) — In the wake of the explosion in Davao City, President Rodrigo Duterte placed the whole country under a state of lawlessness on Saturday early morning.

Speaking in a televised interview, Duterte said that under the state of lawlessness, government security personnel are given a wider authority to search cars. 

“It’s not martial law but it would require nationwide, well-coordinated efforts of the military and the police. I have this duty to protect the country. I have this duty to keep intact the integrity of the nation,” he said.

READ: At least 14 killed, 67 others hurt in Davao blast

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza on Saturday explained that a state of lawlessness under the Constitution is “separate and apart from the powers to declare martial law or suspend habeas corpus.”

“State of lawlessness merely calls out the military or the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) to do law enforcement operations normally done only by the PNP (Philippine National Police). Precisely to suppress the lawless violence," Dureza posted on his Facebook account Saturday

"It is to complement and supplement the capability of the PNP. It does not suspend some rights,” he added.

The president assured the public that Davao City is "safe" and urged residents to "keep calm."

“Davao is safe, there is no criminality here except terrorism,” he said.

“The government is with you. We will protect everyone,” he added. 

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