- President Rodrigo Duterte previously threatened to declare Martial Law if the Judicial Branch proved to be an obstacle to his war on drugs
- The President is again talking about Martial Law, stating that it could be used as a tool to eradicate drugs in the Philippines
- However, Duterte was advised that it was not feasible and therefore instead declared a “state of lawlessness”
Earlier Tuesday, October 4, 2016, President Rodrigo Duterte said that he was tempted to declare Martial Law in order to fight against the scourge of drugs all over the Philippines.
Duterte is inclined to implement it to aid his campaign against illegal drug trade. However, the President said he was advised that it was not feasible and therefore prefers to declare a “state of lawlessness.”
"There are 6000 barangay captains doing their own thing, manufacturing shabu. How am I supposed to deal with… sometimes I am tempted, really, to declare martial law. But it is not feasible, they say, well, fine,” President Duterte said to the Jewish community at the Beit Yaacov Synagogue.
President Duterte promised to eradicate drugs and drug related crimes in the first 3-6 months of his office. However, the task appeared to be harder than expected, given that the President has requested from the public an extension, admitting that he is incapable in fulfilling his promise.
“Narcopolitics,” says Duterte, is one of the major causes of the rising drug syndicate in the Philippines.
Last September, Duterte declared a “state of lawlessness” to combat “narcopolitics.”
Duterte’s statement was picked up by international media, with many saying that the Philippines could soon enter into military rule.
In the Philippines, netizens are split on the issue. Many on twitter are fearful of that Duterte would declare a state of emergency. Concerned citizens are hoping that the country will not turn into another Marcos era, where due process would be suspended in the name of national security.
Some, however, already believe that the country is already under threat of going back to the past. Many are paralleling the extra judicial killings and Duterte's lack of apathy towards human rights to the Marcos dictatorship.
Since taking office, Duterte's campaign has claimed the lives of more than 3000 pushers and drug addicts, while thousands of shabu addicts have turned themselves in to the authorities to undergo rehabilitation.
However, Duterte’s millions of followers have rallied behind the President. The majority of the Filipinos say that they will support Duterte’s campaign against drugs even if declares Martial Law. On various social media sites like Twitter, netizens post and share their support for Duterte.
Kirot Liar posted on facebook, stating, "Sagot sa problema ng Pinas Martial Law for 6 months para walang politikong protector na kokontra. Go Go Mr President we support ur good intention for the Nation."
(The solution for the Philippines is to declare Martial Law for 6 months so that no politician can challenge the President.)
Other netizens reminisce the glory days of Manila under Marcos, where the streets were traffic free and the city was safe to walk at night.
Others are simply posting images that calls for other Filipinos to support the President by liking and sharing the images. Some have garnered thousands of likes and shares. President Duterte is extremely popular for his frank demeanour and tough stances on crime.
Furthermore, supports of the President are calling for unity, and blaming the Liberal Party (dubbed yellowtards) and the foreign media for destabilising the Philippines by dividing the country into polar opinions.
Regardless of both the anti-martial law and those who support military control, the chief executive reiterated that he would only keep the "state of lawlessness" until the nation is safe.