HE may be known as a leader with an iron fist, but Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday gave assurances that he will not impose martial law if he wins to enable him to implement his anti-crime and anti-illegal drug programs.
The presidential bet made the statement during a meeting with residents of Barangay 188 in Pasay City (Metro Manila) as part of his “Ronda Serye” listening tour.
“Alam mo, gamitin mo lang ’yung batas, hindi mo na kailangan mag-diktador [You know, just enforce the law, you need not be a dictator],” Duterte said.
Maraming batas, hindi lang nga sinusunod. ’Pag sumunod lang kayo sa batas, eh di lahat tayo okay na [You know, you just have to implement the law, you do not need to be a dictator. Many laws are not being properly implemented. Just follow the law and we will all be okay],” he added.
Duterte’s running mate, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, said critics associate Duterte with martial law to demolish the mayor’s image.
“’Yung nagkakalat ng martial law, ’yun ’yung naninira kay mayor at gustong mag-create ng fear [Those raising the martial law bogey are those detractors who want to create fear],” Cayetano added.
“Kailangan ba ng martial law para i-solve ang problema? Kailangan mo lang ng malasakit [Do we need martial law to solve the problem? We just need concern from our leaders],” the senator said.
Last month, Duterte said he will declare martial law as an “extreme option” and its imposition will have to meet some conditions.
One situation that would compel him to resort to martial law is a constitutional crisis brought by conflicts between the executive and legislative branches regarding allocation and release of budgets.
“If you threaten me with impeachment and create a constitutional crisis, I will be forced to declare a revolutionary government,” Duterte said.
He and Cayetano vowed to wage a war against crime and illegal drugs by mobilizing the military and police.
The Davao mayor set a three to six months’ “restriction period” for him to ensure that people will immediately feel the effects of his campaign.