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Friday, September 20, 2019

Palace justifies Duterte’s declaration of ‘state of lawlessness’

TO ALLAY fears on the declaration of state of lawlessness in the country, Malacañang on Saturday clarified that President Rodrigo Duterte is merely calling out the military to suppress the “lawless violence.”

In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said that the President’s pronouncement is compliant with the Constitution.

Citing Article 7, Section 18 of the Constitution, Abella noted that “the President shall be the commander-in-chief of all armed forces of the Philippines and whenever it becomes necessary, he may call out such armed forces to prevent or suppress lawless violence, invasion or rebellion.”

“The declaration is limited such that he can only call out the armed forces to suppress the lawless violence. It is a different case from the existence of invasion or rebellion,” the presidential spokesperson said.

In a separate statement, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza stressed that state of lawlessness under the Constitutional provision “is separate and apart from the powers to declare Martial Law or suspend habeas corpus.”

Abella said Duterte can suspend the writ of habeas corpus or declare martial law “only if there is invasion or rebellion, and when public safety requires it.”

Dureza said such declaration is to merely complement and supplement the capability of the police.

“It (Declaration of state of lawlessness) does not suspend some rights,” he said.

The President declared the state of lawlessness in Davao City on early Saturday, following the explosion in Davao City’s night market on Friday night.

The Abu Sayyaf bandits had owned up to the blast but the authorities have yet to determine the real cause.

Abella urged the public to be watchful of possible danger.

“In the spirit of unity and love of country, let us remain alert to the activities of those who wish to create chaos and prayerfully agree for peace to reign in the land,” he said. (Sunnex)
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