MANILA – Malacañang on Thursday said it is possible for President Rodrigo Duterte to declare martial law in the National Capital Region (NCR) if terrorism spills over here.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said Duterte expressed concern over the recent suicide bombings in Indanan, Sulu, which is a known lair of the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf.
Duterte said that he could “be compelled to use powers granted to me by the Constitution” if the terrorism escalates in the other parts of the country,” according to Panelo.
“Kaya nga ‘di ba (sabi niya): ‘Don’t force me to the wall. ‘Pag hindi kayo tumigil, I’ll be compelled to use powers granted to me by the Constitution, lalung-lalo pa ‘yung terorismo makarating dito sa Maynila,’” Panelo said.
“‘Yon nga ang kinakatakot niya kasi may suicide bomber na. He’s very concerned of that. Kaya ‘di ba nag-warning siya sa enemies of the state, don’t force my hand into it. I will not allow the disintegration of this country,” he added.
Among the powers Duterte could use, according to Panelo, were declaring revolutionary government and other emergency powers under the Constitution to quell whatever violence or any attempt at destroying this republic.
“Pwede niyang gawin lahat ‘yon. The military or all the Armed Forces of the Philippines, under the Constitution, are obligated to protect the people. The President can use the Armed Forces of the Philippines,” Panelo said.
At least eight were killed after a military camp in Indanan was attacked by two suicide bombers on June 28./PN