FOLLOWING his trip to South Korea this week, President Rodrigo Duterte warned that he will “make radical changes in the days to come.”
“There will be changes in the coming days including public order and security. There are simply too many crimes and too many claiming to be this and that,” he said on Wednesday morning, June 6.
The warning came with the implication of martial law.
“Well, remember that there is — there’s no difference actually between martial law and a declaration of national emergency. So I’ve been warning all. I’m warning all including the Human Rights, it’s either we behave or we will have a serious problem again,” Duterte said.
Duterte declared Mindanao a state of national emergency due to lawless violence in September 2016 and placed the entire island group under martial law on May 2017 despite criticisms from rights groups and opposition figures.
Article VI, Section 23 of the Constitution says: “In times of war or other national emergency, the Congress may, by law, authorize the President, for a limited period and subject to such restrictions as it may prescribe, to exercise powers necessary and proper to carry out a declared national policy. Unless sooner withdrawn by resolution of the Congress, such powers shall cease upon the next adjournment thereof.”
“Somehow, even with this meager emergency power, I will use it to the hilt and put things in order,” he vowed.
“For those offices that are beyond control, I will place you under the Office of the President. I will be in front of you every day,” he continued.
Duterte has been clearing government agencies of corrupt officials.
On May 21, he fired Transportation Assistant Secretary for Railways Mark Tolentino, Government Corporate Counsel Rudolf Philip Jurado on May 28, and Noel Patrick Sales Prudente, a deputy commissioner of the Bureau of Customs, on May 30.