The declaration of a nationwide martial law next week is a “remote possibility,” Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Friday.
Wire service Agence France-Presse, which earlier came out with a report titled “Philippines’ Duterte may declare martial law next week: Defense chief,” has updated its story to remove its reference to the possibility of a declaration of martial law next week.
Duterte had earlier said he would be forced to declare a nationwide martial law if the communist rebels bring their armed struggle to the streets.
“Sinabi na rin ni Presidente ‘yan eh. Sabi niya, kung the… mga… ‘yung left, sabi niya, ‘Kung left will try to have a massive protest, magsunog sila sa kalsada, they will disrupt the country, then I might.’”
Sinabi na rin niya ang rason eh. But I don’t think — sa aking pananaw naman, estimate ko — very remote naman mangyari,” Lorenzana said in a Palace briefing.
The defense chief said the President was only “concerned that it (rebellion) might get out of hand.”
“So sabi niya, ‘I might declare martial law.’ But I don’t think the possibility that the left will be able to conduct a massive ano, massive demonstration across the country, disrupting the civil government or the lives of the people, eh hindi naman siguro mangyayari ‘yun ,” he said.
Various groups have announced to staged mass protests on September 21 to condemned the brutal war on drugs, alleged police abuses and human rights violations, and the President’s plan to declare a nationwide martial law.