Duterte to critics, doubting Thomases: Martial law not meant to perpetuate myself in power

Image capture from PTV's video
  • President scored foes for badgering him about martial law
  • He said martial law meant not as a tool for him to stay in power definitely
  • He also explained reason for declaration, revealed he is not happy about it

MANILA, Philippines  –  President Rodrigo Duterte scored his critics for deriding his martial law proclamation as a tool to keep himself in power; saying they had done nothing except to badger and pester him.

“The thing here is, itong ibang political parties, pati ‘yung personalities, wala nang ginawa kung hindi mang-hanker, gaano katagal daw itong martial law at ano pa ba ang dapat gawin,” GMA News quoted him as saying.

[The thing here is, this political personalities, and also some personalities, they have done nothing except hanker, and ask how long this martial law will last and what else should we do.]

According to the president, he has no such ambition to cling on to power.

“You keep on asking when this (martial law) will end. This is my answer to the doubting Thomases: There is no ambition to perpetuate (myself) in power,” he said; adding that he would have gladly resigned if his replacement was Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Cayetano or former senator Bongbong Marcos.

“Kung nanalo ‘yan si Cayetano, o kaya ito si Bongbong, alis na ako. Sa totoo lang [If Cayetano or Bongbong won, I would leave. Really],” he said.

Duterte also explained his reason for declaring martial law and revealed that he himself was not happy about having to proclaim it since it meant something was wrong.

“I declared martial law because the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the police told me that it has reached its critical moment,” he said. “I’m the second President to declare martial law. I am not proud of it. I am not happy because it indicates something that there is a trouble.”