Panelo: Duterte has the right to declare Martial Law

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte can declare Martial law, if the drug menace in the country worsens, a Palace official said on Wednesday.

In an interview, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo noted that it is “valid” for a President to declare a Martial Law if he sees “imminent danger to the public safety.”

“[The President] has the right and the duty to declare Martial law when the public safety requires it,” Panelo said.

“The drug problem has risen to a crisis of gigantic proportion that endangers the public safety, hence, constitutionally, a declaration of Martial law is valid since there is imminent danger to the public safety,” he added.

Panelo made the statement a day after Duterte threatened to declare Martial Law should the Supreme Court thwart the efforts to wipe out drugs.

Panelo said that the President was merely naming the involved politicians in narcotics as it was his duty to let the people know about what is happening in the country.

He also said that it was Duterte’s way of giving the alleged narco-politicians to show up and refute the allegations.

“Naming them is pursuant to his constitutional duty to serve and protect the people,” Panelo said. (Sunnex)
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