Palace clarifies: Duterte will listen to SC but…
Malacañang on Monday said President Rodrigo Duterte will listen to the Supreme Court and Congress but will have to rely on the military and the police to decide on the extension or lifting of martial law.
“The President will listen but at the end of the day…as Commander in Chief he deserves the right to make decisions,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella told Palace reporters.
“But he is listening. Of course he is a listening president,” he said.
During a press briefing, Abella said the President’s statement last Saturday “meant that those who are truly aware of the situation are the military and the police.”
“This is not meant to bypass the Supreme Court or the legislative,” he explained.
Duterte on Saturday told soldiers in Jolo that it will be up to the military to say if the Philippines is safe or if martial law should continue. “I will not listen to others. The Supreme Court justices, the congressmen, they are not here,” he said then.
But Abella said Duterte was only pointing out “that the one with accurate information regarding activities on the ground are the ones he will trust.”
The presidential spokesperson said the Supreme Court and Congress will also “be in dialogue” with the police and military and recommendations could be given.
Duterte last week declared martial law in Mindanao because of the Maute group’s siege of Marawi City.
Abella said 61 terrorists, 19 civilians and 18 government security forces have been killed as of Sunday. While the military is now able to control the entry and exit to the city, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said there are still “remnants of resistance within the city.” JPV/rga
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.