Duterte ‘may have to do a Marcos’
Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte may have to do a Ferdinand Marcos if he wants to fulfill his campaign promise of stamping out crime in six months.
Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile doubts that Duterte, one of the leading contenders in the presidential race, could meet this deadline, unless he declares martial law.
“I cannot make a promise that I will be able to solve criminality in such a short period. Unless he will mobilize the entire military organization, including the police and the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) and declare martial law, then I’ll believe it,” Enrile said in a Senate forum Thursday.
Enrile was the defense minister of Marcos, who declared martial law in 1972.
Enrile later broke away from the Marcos camp and became a key player during the 1986
Edsa revolution that ousted the dictator from power.
The Senator, who described Duterte as a good friend and one who supported him in all his political battles, said he does not know the mayor’s formula and therefore has misgivings about whether the campaign promise is doable.
He said a deadline may be feasible for specific crimes, but drastic actions may still be necessary. He cited the dismantling the illegal drug business in the country, which may be hard to fulfill in a brief period.
“I cannot promise it unless you shoot several of them publicly and you assume the responsibility. Then maybe it will inflict such extraordinary fear in the minds of people operating the drug business in the country that indeed their lives are in danger. But that’s hard to promise,” he said.
He also said that if Duterte becomes President and declares martial law, Congress can disapprove his move.
Enrile said it was different when Marcos declared martial law, as there was no such countermove allowed in the 1935 Constitution prevailing then.
Enrile is not the first politician to question the feasibility of Duterte’s plan to eliminate crime in half a year.
Philippine National Police chief Ricardo Marquez earlier said that even the most advanced countries with the best police equipment continue to be beset with crime.
Marquez had also expressed disapproval of the extrajudicial killing of criminals.
Duterte has earned a reputation as an iron-fisted local executive who strictly enforces laws in Davao City. He has been linked to the Davao Death Squad, a group allegedly responsible for the killing of crime suspects in the city.
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