President Rodrigo Duterte said no one could stop him from imposing martial law.
PPD/Ace Morandante
Duterte to declare martial law if drug problem becomes ‘virulent’
Rosette Adel ( - January 15, 2017 - 2:01pm

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

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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