Duterte’s wish: Martial law sans Congress, SC nod
President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday wanted the declaration of martial law to be the prerogative of the chief executive without the approval of Congress and the Supreme Court.
Duterte said he wanted to amend the martial law provisions and the term limits for local officials under the 1987 Constitution.
Under the 1987 Constitution, the President needs the approval of Congress and the high court before declaring martial law.
“Martial law powers are subject to review by the SC and by Congress. [If you declare] martial law [and in the event of] invasion [or war], I cannot proceed [and especially when there’s trouble, I still have to go to] Congress, [and go to the Supreme Court],” he said in a speech at the Convergence of Nanay Volunteers as Community Drugwatch in Angeles City, Pampanga.
The President said it would be a big problem if Congress and SC would have differing opinions.
The chief executive said he also wanted the three-term limit for local officials amended.
“Noong na-mayor na ako, naiba ang istorya (When I was mayor, the story has been changed) because I won a three-year limit. Iyan masama ang batas na iyan talaga (That’s the trouble with this law ). Dapat palitan talaga iyan (It should be changed). Maski sinong gobernador o mayor ang tanungin mo (Ask any governor or mayor)…,” he said.
He said the changes in the provision of the Constitution was a “reckless reaction” to former President Ferdinand Marcos, who declared martial law in 1972.
“That was an almost a reckless reaction [to] Marcos [when he was president]. Naano tayo sa galit natin (We were consumed by anger). That constitution was not a product of Marcos. He never took party in it. It was the 1935 constitution,” he added.
“Sila Claro Recto yun, sina Quintin Paredes (Claro Recto and Quintin Paredes framed that Constitution). Walang kasalanan itong sumunod (The successor cannot be faulted) but because ang nangyari sa atin (in our case), iyon, lahat ng ginawa ni Marcos (Marcos based his actions according to law), although it was not a Marcos [Constitution], sinira (many provisions were wiped out), pati yang (including the) martial law powers [of the president],” he added.
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