The Daily Manila Shimbun


Duterte says he did not declare martial law to perpetuate himself in power

June 9, 2017

President Rodrigo Duterte said on Friday he did not declare martial law in Mindanao to keep himself in power. In a speech in a military camp in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao, Duterte said if it was Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano or former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr who won the vice presidential elections, he would quit as president. Opposition bet Leni Robredo won in the May 2016 vice presidential elections but Marcos has been protesting Robredo's victory. Duterte slammed other political parties and personalities who have been questioning his declaration of martial law. "You know what, these fools, they were trying to think that we in government are trying to perpetuate ourselves in power," he said. "If only I can resign...if only Cayetano or Bongbong (Marcos) won (in the elections), I'd leave," Duterte said. Duterte reiterated he declared martial law on May 23 while he was in Russia, "because the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the police told me that it has reached its critical moment." Duterte has placed the entire Mindanao under martial rule after the attack and continued occupation of the Islamic State-linked Maute Terror Group in Marawi City. "You continue to ask when martial law will be lifted. This is my answer to the doubting Thomases: no contribution, no ambition to perpetuate self in power," he said. "I think the Armed Forces and the police would not aim for a war that would result in the killings of many lives," Duterte added. He said he is not proud to be called the second president who declared martial law. "I am not happy because it indicates something that there is a trouble," he said. Meanwhile, Duterte said he knew someone who was included in the arrest order issued by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana for his alleged connection with the terrorists in Marawi. He named the person as a certain "Solitario," whom he told not to show up until he has cleared his name, otherwise, he would be arrested or "could even be killed." Lorenzana, as martial law administrator, issued two arrest orders containing the names of over 300 people who allegedly are connected with the Maute, Abu Sayyaf and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, all enemies of the state. Celerina Monte/DMS