Duterte Has No Plans of Declaring Martial Law

MANILA, Philippines- Amid speculations that President Rodrigo Duterte will soon declare Martial Law to eliminate terror groups in the country, the 71-year-old firebrand leader said he would not declare Martial Law on Thursday, December 1.

Duterte, who pushed for the burial of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, claimed Martial Law didn’t improve the lives of Filipinos.

Photo credit: Philippines Manila Blog

Photo credit: Philippines Manila Blog

“Pero kung manggaling sa akin, mag-Martial Law, kalokohan ‘yan. Nag-Martial Law naman tayo noon. Ano nangyari, gumaling ba ang buhay natin hanggang ngayon? Wala,” Duterte said during the 3rd Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Local Government Summit.

According to Duterte, he would not allow oppression under his administration. He also believes killing criminals, particularly the Maute group responsible for a bomb attack in Davao City, would not solve the problem. Duterte said doing so would only sow the seeds of hatred  in their children.

“We need to unite now or our grandchildren will suffer… If you can craft a federal set up in 3 years with a strong president, I will resign,” he said.

Instead of imposing Martial Law, the former mayor of Davao City intends to give “blanket authority” with assistance from the military to local officials if their community is not safe anymore.

For Duterte, federalism would solve the conflicts in Mindanao. He aims to have this form of government installed in the Philippines.

“If I cannot work out a system after Oslo in Norway, I cannot work on the federal setup and make it work, then I would tell you, I am a failure, and I would concede my being a President, Duterte said.

What is federalism?

A federal type of government refers to the mixed or compound mode of government comprised of a general or central government and regional governments in a single political system.Federalism is a form of government that has division of powers between two levels of government of equal status.