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Duterte's Martial Law Style

By Nimfa Estrellado
Straight Talk
April 18, 2020

BREAKING: AFP spox Brigadier Gen. Edgard Arevalo confirms the existence of a PH Air Force document leaked online which refers to a “martial law-type” role for the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police but provides context.

AFP confirms, clarifies Air Force memo on ‘martial law-type’ role, according to a news article.

"From hindi ito martial law" to "Martial Law na rin."

"Martial law-type" is Martial Law.

Is it a violation of President Rodrigo "Rody" Roa Duterte's 1987 Philippine Constitution to impose martial law during a non-military state of emergency?

Duterte has been ordering a crackdown on martial law to stop citizens in the nation's capital from flouting a virus lock-out.

"I am just asking for your discipline. If you don't want to, the military and police can take over. I am ordering them now to be ready," Duterte said in one of his late-night addresses on Thursday (April, 16).

“The military and police will enforce social distancing at curfew... It’s like martial law. You choose,” he warned.

He issued his sternest warning yet, as he received word that some districts in metropolitan Manila were already holding boxing matches and cockfighting derbies despite the "enhanced community quarantine" he put in place in March.

People had been seen drinking binge in alleyways as well.

Duterte said he'd seen large crowds on public markets, and cars queues along main roads causing traffic.

Earlier, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno shut down the boundaries of a district with a population of over 40,000 for 24 hours after viewing a video of about 100 people huddled shoulder to shoulder on Facebook for an amateur boxing match.

Moreno said he had also heard that in this district bingo games were being organized.

A task force overseeing efforts to counter the coronavirus pandemic estimated that for defying quarantine protocols at least 100,000 had either been alerted, detained or fined.

Last week, Duterte extended a month-long lockdown over Luzon, making up the Philippines' northern third and half of the country's population, until the end of April as coronavirus continued to spread across the Philippines.

The number of confirmed cases of Covid-19, the disease the virus causes, in the Philippines rose to 5,660 on Thursday, the highest in South-east Asia. At least 362 have died.

Companies in Manila and the rest of Luzon, with the exception of those supplying food, medicine and utilities, and banks, telcos, and logistics firms, have wounded and sent their staff home.

A network of checkpoints and barricades staffed in Luzon by the military and police is making sure everybody remains in position.

Duterte asked Filipinos to be more patient, as the government is trying to find ways to ease the lockdown without risking an outbreak of a runaway virus.

How bad should the health crisis get before Pres. Duterte realizes that what we need is a medical solution?

If he hadn't been outspoken about martial law and used it to intimidate everyone, perhaps people would have freely supported and cooperated with this lockdown, and plans would easily work out.

In some areas of Manila Special Action Force (SAF) has been deployed to inspect and regulate social distance.

When this occurs, it normalizes combat tanks, riffles, and the military presence. Look at the bigger picture, and tell me this is not a way to enforce Martial Law gradually.

I certainly don't agree. Duterte is fond of the principle of martial law. He has talked so many times about it, and has already introduced it in Mindanao. It was badly thought out and probably poorly performed, but he preferred the idea of it more than the technical nightmare fact it is.


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