Duterte: I will declare martial law only if Filipinos ask for it

  • President again mulled possible martial law scenario
  • He said he will declare martial law only if public asks for it
  • However, he also said martial law not necessary for now

MANILA, Philippines – Mulling again the possibility of military rule in the country, President Rodrigo Duterte said he will only declare martial law in the face of popular public clamor.

“When the time comes that they will be asking for it, I’ll give it to them. Remember this, Filipinos, kung kayo na ang manghingi [if you ask for it]. Magsabi kayo, Mr. President, declare tayo ng martial law. Sabihin ko mag-isip muna ako [You say, Mr President, let’s declare martial law. If you want it, I’ll think about it],” ABS-CBN quoted him as saying.

“Kung kayo na mismo ang maghingi at baka dadating ‘yang mga scenario na ‘yan, sabihin ko lang huwag muna, OK pa naman, nadala pa naman sa presinto-presinto. Pero when the time comes na ang tao na ang maghingi, ibibigay ko. But ako, satisfied na ako,” he added.

[If it’s you who want it and the scenarios for it arrives, I’ll say not now. It’s okay, we can still bring them to the precincts. But when the time comes that people will ask for it, I’ll give it. But for me now, I’m satisfied.]

Duterte stressed that martial law for now is not needed as he is still happy with the performance of the country’s law enforcement agencies.

“Tutal nakakagalaw naman sila [They can still operate], they’re doing their duty,” he said.

Duterte has been open-ended on the possibility of declaring martial law. While reiterating the competence of the current system, he said he will declare martial law if the country’s drug problem becomes too much to handle.