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Despite protests, Duterte won’t declare nationwide martial law—Palace

By: - Reporter / @NCorralesINQ
/ 01:25 PM September 21, 2017
Ernesto Abella

Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella.
INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/JOAN BONDOC

Malacañang on Thursday said President Rodrigo Duterte was not planning to declare martial law nationwide amid growing protests against his administration’s war on drugs and alleged human rights violations.

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella issued the statement as the country observes National Day of Protest.

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“Kung sinasabing pinaplano ang martial law, hindi po (If people are speculating that martial law is in the works, no),” Abella said in an interview with GMA 7’s morning show Unang Hirit.

He echoed the President’s remarks that he would only expand the coverage of martial law if the protests turn violent, including the presence of destruction of properties.

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“Again and again, inulit niya hindi iyan ang patutunguan natin. Only…ang sinabi lang iyong katulad nung ano… ‘yung sinabi na is allowing nga for the protest, huwag lang malaglag sa ano—huwag sa violence and the destruction of property, in which case the response will be firm,” he said.

(Again and again he has said that that is not the road we are going to take. He only said that he is allowing protests as long as they do not lead to violence and destruction of property, in which case, the response will be firm.)

Duterte had earlier said he would be forced to declare martial law nationwide if the communist rebels bring their armed struggled to the streets.

Abella cited that the President had been trying to reach out with the communists.

“In fact simula’t sapul po (from the very beginning) the President has tried to reach out to just about everybody, left to right,” he said.

“Sa simula’t sapul po ang President has been very, very inclusive and one thing, in his line, a comfortable life for all. In other words, damang dama po ng Presidente  ang hinaing ng tao and again and again, especially he is against sa ano… iyong corruptions, crime and iyong pag-aabuso,” he added.

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(From the very beginning, the President has been very, very inclusive and one thing, in his line, a comfortable life for all. In other words, the President really feels the disapproval of the people to corruption, crime and abuses.)

Duterte on May 23 declared martial law in the entire Mindanao after the Maute terrorists attacked Marawi City in a bid to establish the caliphate there.  The fighting between government troops and the Islamic State-inspired terrorists have been ongoing for almost four months now. /idl

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TAGS: Ernesto Abella, Martial law, National Day of Protest, Rodrigo Duterte
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