- Palace official said official declaration of state of lawlessness will be out Monday, September 5
- President said this will allow uniformed personnel to run the country according to the President’s specifications without elaborating on what specifications he meant
- “State of lawlessness” is not per se “martial law” according to Palace officials
The blast that shook Davao last Friday prompted Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to declare a “state of lawlessness” in the Philippines. The formal declaration has been made Monday, September 5.
Presidential Communications Office Assistant Secretary Kris Ablan said that the President will be signing the official declaration of state of lawlessness today, September 5, before he would be leaving for Laos where the President would be joining the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit.
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According to Ablan, the proclamation to declare a state of lawlessness has already been drafted. What is left is for the President to sign it.
Ablan also said that crafting the declaration took a bit of time so that it would be really clear. She emphasized that they don’t want to have any rumor-mongering with regards to the intention of the said proclamation.
Many people are concerned about the “state of lawlessness” declaration as they fear that this will lead to more human right violations. However, palace officials, and the President himself, said that a declaration of “state of lawlessness” is not the same as declaration of Martial Law.
In support of the said declaration, Ernesto Abella, Presidential Spokesperson, said that the declaration is found in the 1987 Constitution, specifically under Article VII, Section 18.
As part of the President’s Commander-in-Chief powers, the said section states, “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 President has also made an earlier pronouncement that with the declaration, uniformed personnel will be able to run the country according to the specification of the President. There was no elaboration on what specifications the President meant.