Duterte placed Mindanao under martial law on May 23, 2017 to address the problem of extremist terrorism in the region, particularly Marawi City. It has been extended a number of times by Congress up to December this year.
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Duterte has last card to solve nation’s problems — Palace
Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) - July 10, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte has not closed his doors on the possibility of using his constitutional powers to declare martial law, put up a revolutionary government or invoke his emergency powers to solve the problems of the nation, his spokesman said yesterday.

Salvador Panelo made the statement when asked to clarify the President’s recent speech threatening to use the “last card” to go after those trying to derail his presidency.

“He can do many things – he can impose martial law; he can declare a revolutionary government; he can use other emergency power,” Panelo said.

In a speech last weekend in Leyte, Duterte warned those who are planning to impeach him to stop or face the consequences.

“Don’t force me to declare war because I have something else. I have a card which I can throw anytime,” Duterte said.

Panelo said the President has those powers under the Constitution that he could invoke when under duress.

“I don’t think the framers of the Constitution have chained the head of state from performing his duty, which is to serve and to protect the people by placing provisions there in derogation of that obligation. This is why the President is given the choice,” Panelo said.

Duterte placed Mindanao under martial law on May 23, 2017 to address the problem of extremist terrorism in the region, particularly Marawi City. It has been extended a number of times by Congress up to December this year.

While martial rule and/or emergency powers can be imposed in the entire country, Duterte has not declared it due to the prevailing good economic conditions – a potential legacy he cannot possibly ruin by espousing efforts that would rattle economic development, Panelo said.

Panelo clarified the President’s statement was not in any way connected to the impeachment plans of his critics.

He said the President made the remark out of exasperation over the country’s problems.

Panelo also maintained that no impeachment complaint would prosper at the House of Representatives.

“How can he be afraid of an impeachment? First, it’s baseless. And number two, there is the super majority of allies in Congress, so he is not referring to the impeachment plans,” he said.

Duterte also showed his disappointment over rampant corruption in the bureaucracy as he reiterated his campaign for efficiency in governance as well as the fight against corruption.

“A dependable and reliable government is not enough. You are here to ensure that our bureaucracy is free of corruption and other illegal activities,” the President told his new appointees during the oath-taking ceremony at Malacañang on Monday.

Duterte directed the new officials to help him in the anti-corruption campaign and maintenance of peace and order.

“Your primary goal is therefore to help me in realizing our goal of eliminating the ills that have weakened the people to act and to complain what’s going on,” he said.

Duterte urged the new appointees to set aside personal interest as they embark on their careers in public service.

The President veered away from a prepared speech and said he wanted to revamp the Bureau of Customs anew due to the continuous corruption in the agency.

MARTIAL LAW RODRIGO DUTERTE
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