Only until police and military say it’s safe: Duterte to continue martial law, defy Congress and Supreme Court

Image capture from RTVM's Facebook video
  • President vowed to ignore Congress or Supreme Court revocation of martial law proclamation
  • He said he will rescind order only after gov’t forces have declared entire country safe
  • He also scored solons and justices, said they were not the ones fighting in the field

MANILA, Philippines – A potential constitutional crisis may be in the offing as President Rodrigo Duterte vowed to continue martial rule in Mindanao even if ordered to stop by Congress or the Supreme Court.

According to the president, he will rescind his order only if the police and armed forces have declared the country safe.

“Hanggang hindi sinabi ng pulis pati Armed Forces na safe na ang Philippines, this martial law will continue. Hindi ako makinig sa iba. Mga Supreme Court, ‘yung mga congressman, wala man sila dito,” GMA News quoted him as saying.

[Until the police and the armed forces say the Philippines is safe, this martial law will continue. I will not listen to others. The Supreme Court, congress, they are not here.]

Duterte also scored lawmakers and justices opposed to his declaration; saying they’re not the actual people doing the fighting in Marawi City.

“Ba’t sila ba ang nagpapakamatay? Sila ba ang naghihirap dito? They will suffer the wounds of war? Sila ba ‘yung nagtitiis? Sila ba ‘yung namamatay na nauubusan ng dugo, bleeding? Naghe-hemorrhage kay walang tulog, walang reinforcement. Hindi sila,” he said.

[Why, are they the ones risking their lives? Are they the ones undergoing hardship? They will suffer the wounds of war? Are they the ones enduring this? Are they the ones dying and losing blood, bleeding, hemorrhaging because they don’t have rest, and no reinforcements? It’s not them.]

Under the current Constitution, Congress has the power to affirm, revoke, or extend martial law. Also, any citizen may challenge the proclamation before the Supreme Court.