DAVAO CITY—President Rodrigo Duterte said he has no intention of declaring Martial Law to arrest the spate of violence and terror attacks in the country even as a Palace official said the government is now considering a “selective” suspension of the writ of habeas corpus in areas with escalated threats.
‘‘Martial Law for what? Killing people? I would rather empower every mayor, but do not use these for illegal acts because our soldiers will never accede to illegal orders,” Duterte said during the 3rd Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Local Government Summit on Thursday.
‘‘Martial Law to kill the Maute and other religious extremists? And then what? Their principles will only be transferred to their children, who will always remember that their fathers were killed. If you claim that the idea to declare Martial Law came from me, that is foolishness. We already had Martial Law before. Did our lives improve? No,” he added.
But Communications Secretary Martin Andanar acknowledged that the selective lifting of the writ of habeas corpus remains a possibility even as he downplayed the impact of the government’s decision to place the country under terror alert level 3.
“The state of lawlessness and the possibility of lifting of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, I think this will be selective, only in areas where there are really escalated threats when it comes to insurgency,” Andanar told radio dwIZ.
“We assure the public that there will be no disruption in their normal lives even if we have raised our security level, in the same vein that there was no change in the way they live, work, or conduct business now that the country is under [a] state of national emergency on the account of lawless violence,” Andanar added.
He said placing the Philippines under terror alert level 3 was “consistent with the declaration of state of national emergency or the declaration of state of lawless violence” declared by Duterte after the Davao bombing in September.
“There is no such thing as perfect security,” the Palace official added.
Philippine National Police chief Dir. Gen. Ronald dela Rosa yesterday said the entire country was under Terror Alert 3, after police safely detonated an improvised bomb near the US Embassy on Monday.