“I will be harsh” – Duterte on Martial Law

By , on May 24, 2017

Photo: House of Representatives of the Philippines/Facebook.com
Photo: House of Representatives of the Philippines/Facebook.com

After cutting his trip short in Russia, President Rodrigo Duterte heads back to the Philippines to discuss the terror incident in Marawi City and had declared Martial Law in Mindanao.

In a video released Wednesday morning by Assistant Communications Secretary Mocha Uson, the President insisted that the Martial Law he declared in Mindanao will be similar to what Former President Ferdinand Marcos declared in 1972.

“Martial law is martial law. So to my fellow countrymen, you have experienced martial law. It would not be any different from what President Marcos did. I’d be harsh.” he said.

The Constitution provides the President power to declare martial law in cases of insurgencies, rebellion, invasions or if it needed to safeguard public safety. Should the President declare martial law, it shall be enforced for 60 days. Declaring martial law can also entail the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus which allows authorities to conduct arrests without a court warrant.

It also mandates the President to submit a report to the Congress in writing or in person 48 hours after the declaration has been made. Congress then would have to reach a majority vote to approve or revoke the declaration.

However, President Duterte contends that martial law shall be in effect until the situation is fully stabilized in Mindanao.

“How long? Well…if it would take a year to do it, then we will do it. If it’s over within a month, then I’ll be happy.” he said.

Meanwhile, Majority Leader Rudy Fariñas advised members of the House of Representatives to stay in Manila in order to discuss President’s declaration of martial law.

The Chamber expects to receive President Duterte’s report by Friday.