Duterte ‘all bark, no bite’ – Recto


    PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte’s supposed martial law threat should not be taken seriously not only because of its outlandish nature but also of the lack of legal basis to declare such, Senate Minority Leader Ralph Recto said Monday.

    Senate Minority Leader Ralph Recto

    By now, the public should realize that such statements from the President are mere bluster, Recto said, recalling Duterte’s threat to ride a jet ski to the Kalayaan (Spratly) group of islands and feed the fish in Manila Bay with bodies of executed criminals.

    “His bluster should be likened to a dog that always barks but seldom bites,” added Recto.

    The President, in a speech before the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Saturday, criticized the constitutional restrictions on martial law and said that if he had his way, declaring such would be the President’s sole prerogative.

    “I have to protect the Filipino people, and I tell you now, if I have to declare martial law, I will declare it,” Duterte

    Section 18 Article VII of the 1987 Constitution states that the President “in case of invasion or rebellion, when the public safety requires it, he may, for a period not exceeding sixty days, suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or place the Philippines or any part thereof under martial law.”

    There is no basis to declare martial law because there is no rebellion and no foreign army threatening to invade the country, Recto said.

    The President has also been bragging that crime is down and people are safe in their homes and communities, he said.


    The President’s top congressional allies also downplayed the martial law talk.

    Senate President Aquilino Pimentel 3rd, in a text message, said people should not be worried that Duterte would declare martial law, saying the President won’t make such move without consultations.

    During the process, the President will be reminded of the constitutional provisions on martial law, Pimentel said.
    House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said: “I said it before and I’ll say it again: I know him personally and I sincerely believe he will not declare martial law.”

    “It is far-fetched for him to declare martial law because the administration is clearly gaining headway in its war against illegal drugs in the country,” he said.

    “Besides, being a lawyer, President Duterte is well aware of the legal requirements as well as limitations regarding the declaration of martial law. That is why I believe all the apprehension about the prospect of declaration of martial law is largely unfounded,” he added.

    Media defended

    Senate President Pro-Tempore Franklin Drilon called on the administration to exercise prudence in making public statements, and defended the media who was accused of misreporting Duterte’s remarks by the President’s communications group.

    “The reports were based on the President’s speech and the statements were quoted verbatim. We should not blame the press for reporting what the President said,” said Drilon, a leader of the erstwhile ruling Liberal Party (LP).

    Clarification from the Palace would have been unnecessary if prudence was exercised in the first place, he said.

    Another LP senator, Paolo Benigno Aquino 4th, reminded the Duterte administration of the recent survey conducted by Pulse Asia showing that 74 percent of Filipinos were opposed to martial law.

    “The image of this administration, with a strong and iron hand, very fierce, very harsh, it leads to thoughts of martial law and authoritarianism,” he said.


    For Senator Antonio Trillanes 4th, a member of the Senate minority bloc, the statements of the President on martial was a sign for all Filipinos to prepare for another dictator.

    “All freedom-loving Filipinos should start preparing to fight another dictator,” said Trillanes, a staunch critic of Duterte.

    He also called on the members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to begin reviewing their constitutional mandate.

    But Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla Jr., AFP spokesman, said the military won’t recommend martial rule.

    “We are not recommending any kind of military martial rule, if you may call it that. [Because] right now we’re able to operate and catch all the people who have been perpetrating violence and we are operating within the bounds of law, so currently we are able to accomplish our mission without the complexity of needing to have any kind of special rule applied,” he said.



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    1. All bark and no bite? Several thousand people who have been executed in the drug war would disagree with that statement if the dead could speak.

    2. “The reports were based on the President’s speech and the statements were quoted verbatim” It is verbatim if they published everything work for word. Once you cut and paste, it is no longer verbatim, and that is what Drilon’s media is doing, cut and paste reporting.

    3. Let this Senator be the first victim if and when Martial Law is declared by PRRD! Kung nakalusot sila sa drugs, sa martial law hindi dapat!!!

    4. Hi Mr Trillanes, you have done nothing but criticize. What else can you do to improve the lives of Filipinos?

      For the love of God, I do not know what to say about this type of public servant. You lived to criticize people and you were voted by Filipinos to criticize your fellow public servants. I suggest you better do something more useful to us than talk some shit out of your mouth. You are useless!

    5. The wisdom our President is top-notched. If Martial Law will preserve my generations, I will support it. Kasi ang mga Pilipino ngayon ay parang mga batang pasaway (spoiled brat), di na nakikinig sa pangaral ng nakakatanda. Kaya minsan sarap paluin ng maranasan man lang nila ang mali sa ginawa nila.

    6. Sakristan dati on

      PDU30 is waging war against illegal drugs and it is nice sometimes to use psychological warfare techniques, as he has always been doing, threatening and killing criminals, drug pushers and users. The next group of people he needs to deal with are the Governors, mayors, barangay captains, and some prominent business people that are involved in illegal drug trade. Most of these people can afford to hire high caliber lawyers to represent them in court and most likely, they will go free. If PDU30 declares martial law, he can gather all these prominent people and board them on a ship, one way trip to the south and not to be seen again. This method of justice will save the government a lot of money, time, and resources. Getting these people assassinated one at a time will deplete his intelligent fund, which is not subject for audit. He should include corrupt politicians on this ship trip as well.

    7. Rule of law is not an absolute thing in this world. Enjoy rule of law while lawlessness is dead , or fast asleep.
      Inculcate in your mind that rule of law has no life in itself. Its subsistence on life depends wholly on the absence of lawlessness.

      When lawlessness is dead , rule of law is alive. However , once lawlessness comes to life , rises to power and takes over—rule of law is dead.
      When the time has finally come for lawlessness to rule , the law ceases to rule , and it is good for nothing.

      What are we going to do now when rule of law has departed ? Revive it ? No way!
      When this happens , it is time to move forward and face that lawlessness squarely—give them a dose of their own poison!
      That is the role of martial law to destroy the rampaging lawlessness. You can likened the martial law to a superhero , the saviour of a nation against all forms and shapes of lawlessness. And you know , this is biblical albeit the essence of it is expressed in another term.

      The maxim should be lawlessness against lawlessness , and The Lord is the foremost author of this idea. That is why in biblical parlance , there is the so-called “righteousness through the works of the law”. And there is also its opposite–the righteousness apart from the law or without the law.

      So there is another way provided by The Lord in dealing with lawlessness if the rule of law has been rendered useless. If we are face with the lawless enemies , we can destroy them APART FROM THE LAW or WITHOUT THE LAW.
      This is the righteousness which emanates from God.

      Just remember David how he annihilated thousands of their lawless foes. He was allowed and commanded by The Lord to destroy them completely sparing nothing including their animals , WITHOUT THE LAW IN HIS HANDS , so that he should remain irreproachable.
      Anyone who follow The Lord in this way is also faultless as The Lord is faultless.
      Now who say that the president cannot declare martial law?

      Sans Congress , sans Supreme Court , sans everything else—he can transcends all these and can declare martial law when the situation necessitates. And this thing is from The Lord.
      The world is ignorant of this Wisdom for it is the Wisdom of the wise.

      Better review your bible for everything has already happened , is happening , and will be happening as it was written—until finally find its culmination in the end of the world.
      That end will be the most horrible thing for these lawless enemies of ours!

    8. Why is it that every comment here is made by persons using pseudonyms? Afraid of being known for who you are? The President is doing what he had been mandated in the elections. He received the highest number of votes, thus winning the elections so he could carry out his promises and programs. How he and the nation fares after his term ends we will measure him, but right now he’s doing what the voters who gave him the presidential mandate voted for him to do.

    9. aladin g. villacorte on

      I fully agree – “if he doesn’t mean it, he should stop talking about it.” It doesn’t help the atmosphere by bragging that if he really wants to bring back military rule, no one can stand in the way – not Congress, not the Supreme Court.

      If the President’s pronouncement is all bluster and blabber, when do we take him seriously? If most of the things he say is subject to interpretation and translation this will only lead, as it did, to “misreporting” and confusion. What complicates matters even more is that the President’s council of interpreters and translators speaks in different languages.

      There might come a time when the public will not listen to what the President will say today and simply wait for Malacanang’s version the following day or two.

    10. President DU30 is talking about an extra-constitutional measure, something outside of the constitution. Any head of state has this inherent power in order to protect and safeguard the national safety. What the constitution contemplates and seeks to prevent is the declaration of martial law to prolong a stay in power.It does not envision a situation where martial law is invoked to prevent the collapse of a nation. Indeed,If the president’s hands were tied in the face of extreme danger, where he still has to seek the approval of Congress and the Supreme Court, it may be too late. Let us give the president more slack. He knows what he is doing.

    11. Sen. Ralph Recto must be talking about himself when he criticized President Rody mentioning that Duterte is all bark no bite. If folks will recall this is what Ralph exactly was doing during the term of Phony-Noy. Recto was used to criticize PNoy about so many issues but after his criticisms, it ends there and he does not follow it up with solid deeds. Recto and Escudero are of the same kind. Both of quantity of talk but very poor quality of deeds. We are wondering what will Ralph Recto do if he is President facing the problems which President Duterte is dealing with. For all we know, Ralph will lost and scared to make decisions like Rody did. Ralph is like the rest of the Jaundice Party, puro pa-pogi, walang accomplishment.

    12. The Great Defiant on

      I will prefer martial law without Marcos.
      and I want you to be the first to taste the first bite….

    13. The Great Defiant on

      oh c’mon Mr. VAT.
      you know I remember you every time I buy my medicine, my toothpaste and my pandesal.
      your 12% share is always there.

      If I have my way, I will shoot you at sight.

    14. To bark is to threaten you to stop. Recto, you fool. You are giving criminals encouragement not to stop their malevolent ways. Do you want to see them 6 feet under the ground?

      • we Batanguenos are wondering the laboratory that manufacture shabu in Lipa City got there … that is during the term of mayor V in that city …. and the territory (ancestral place) of the Recto’s. Just asking …

    15. This whole martial law thing seems to be an event contrived by the media. Wonder why there is any need to distort what is actually happening, why there is a very slanted interpretation of events that are viewable online (which tell a different story), and the ethics of the media involved.

      In my opinion, there is no need to manufacture news. There are a lot of important things going on that seem to get sidelined by trivial events. How about some of the journalists get off their behinds and get out into the field, do some honest research, and give us some worthwhile news and not just some regurgitated stuff from AFP, AP, or whatever. The Philippines is one of the epicenters of change in the world today. Its people deserve a lot more than this. The world needs better coverage of what’s happening here.

      I’m referring to the media in general. I still enjoy the Manila Times for its balance in the news and opinions. But I do have to admit, I am finding the social media an interesting balance to traditional journalism as well.

      • You are making all Filipinos as a fool. That is what Durerte said and please do not change the words that the news was slanted or misinterpreted. I will tell you that he is not going to declare Martial Law but a revolutionary government where there will be no Constitutional hindrances.

    16. All bark no bite !!??? In my entire life, this president is the most engaging elected official that I have
      ever witnessed. The description doesn’t fit the subject, sorry to say. In the past, for the most part,
      the country has a president that can talk well and I mean well, but it was all talk. Not this guy, he may have talk a lot, but I’m seeing cumulative results…..

    17. Who is afraid of martial law? Not the ordinary citizen working hard trying to earn an honest living.

      To be able to work and contribute, secure in the knowledge that there is going to be peace and order, that the country is no longer going to be ransacked by evil politicians and greedy elites, is very much welcome.

      It is only the the senators, congressmen, justices, greedy business, corrupt, incompetents, irresponsible government workers – all the evils, who will be at a loss. And this is precisely what the majority wants, the reason why the president was elected.

      In case the media still doesnt get it, the majority wants peace and order, discipline, progress, security for our country and hope for future pilipinos.

      Is that a problem? only to the plundering politicians and their partners, but certainly not to the upright pilipino.

      Either martial law or revolution is very much welcome – just remove all the trapos, justices, lawyers, greedy business by any means.

      • I agree with you. I may not have experienced Martial Law during Marcos time but people should analyze first why it was implemented in the first place. There may have been casualties and/or human rights abuses but I believe these were instigated by corrupt people.

        I do not believe our current president will have this happen if martial law were to be enforced. The problem with democracy today is that it’s been abused that many people simply have no discipline and respect for the law.

    18. The one thing I like to voice my opinion in the Manila Times, unlike other newspapers where the bloggers use kitchen sink languages, the guys who join comments in the Manila Times are with class and perhaps professionally educated.

      Go, go co-Batangueno Senator Recto, you are doing the right thing on your comments on matters related to martial law.

      Batanguenos by nature are courageous. During the time of Quirino, Don Claro Recto and Jose P. Laurel, a Batangueno named Medrano led a rebellion in Batangas. But that was history. I do not mean the Filipinos must do it now. What I want to know is who are the
      YES SENATORS now in Philippines and YES CONGRESSMEN too.

      • I find it preposterous that those untrustworthy Senators and Congressmen who has not done anything but condone corruption , are the ones afraid of martial law rule .Visaya, o Batangueno o Ilokano, ang importante ay may kakayahan ipagtanggol ang kapwa Pilipino sa ibang bansa , at yan ang dapat ipagmalaki , hindi ang mga mayabang na mga Senador at Congressmen.na magaling lang sa kurakutan. Mabuhay ka Pres Duterte.