Duterte: Gov’t may need ‘martial law power’ to clean up canals, Manila Bay
MANILA, Philippines — For a clean Manila Bay, the government may need a martial rule-like power to prevent temporary restraining orders from hindering its work to clean up other bodies of water, President Rodrigo Duterte said on Thursday.
Duterte said steps should be taken to make Manila Bay cleaner, including dredging and opening up canals and rivers which all affect the quality of the bay’s water.
However, the President acknowledged that this is a difficult task and “cannot be addressed in an ordinary day” since people may file lawsuits and temporary restraining orders (TROs) may be issued.
To deal with these challenges, Duterte said: “Much as I would like to proceed with my job unhampered, unbridled. I cannot because I have to contend with democracy and the courts… Kailangan i-dredge na talaga, including the esteros and if need be destroy all houses at ‘yung mga esteros na ninakaw ng mga subdivision. Buksan, pilitin mo, but this cannot be done in an ordinary day.”
(It must be dredged and canals cleaned. If necessary, destroy all the houses and open up the canals used by subdivisions. It cannot be done on a normal day.)
“Hindi na ako maging president (my term as president will end soon), but you need another martial law power for a President someday to do this thing,” he added.
“’Yang wala ng TRO, basta ‘yung mali, ano ‘yung original mapa, ‘yun ang sundin. Then this country would find a relief of what is now a quagmire of our country,” Duterte continued.
(If there is no TRO, the original mapping would be followed.)
At the presentation by Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu about the progress of Manila Bay cleanup, Duterte chimed in with this remark.
This is Duterte’s second public address this week, and an hour was devoted to Cimatu’s updates on environmental efforts.
In this public address, which was supposed to give updates on the government’s COVID-19 response, Duterte said his goal was to let the taxpayers know where their money was going, which is why he had Cabinet members present their achievements under his administration.