- Senator downplayed Duterte’s threat to declare martial law
- He said public should already be familiar with the president’s style of talking
- Palace also clarified Duterte’s remarks, said he respects SC’s jurisdiction
MANILA, Philippines – That’s just his way of talking, don’t take it too seriously.
Downplaying President Rodrigo Duterte’s threat to declare martial law in response to Supreme Court Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno’s letter, Sen. Ping Lacson said the public should already be familiar with the president’s tough-talking ways.
“His bullheadedness is epic,” the senator told the Philippine Daily Inquirer. “By now, we should already be familiar with his antics especially when making spontaneous statements or announcements to media. Of course, we should know that the martial law threat is just that and nothing more.”
At the same time, Lacson also commented on the possible repercussions of the rift between Duterte and the Supreme Court.
“Whether he’s serious or not in that regard, defying the SC is always an individual responsibility of any person who will ultimately accept the burden of a possible contempt citation,” he said.
Communications Secretary Martin Andanar also defended Duterte; saying he was merely reiterating his intent to move quickly in the face of the illegal drug problem.
“The President merely asked a rhetorical question and said it under the context that his anti-drug campaign cannot wait for the slow wheels of justice – Philippines style. We have an action man for a President who believes justice delayed is justice denied,” he said.
Andanar also said Duterte respects the separation of powers between the executive and judiciary.
“When the President referred the named judges on his consolidated list to the Supreme Court, he was acknowledging the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court over the judges. He recognizes the separation of powers, and even asked the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court not to create a constitutional crisis,” he said.