MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said he wants the 1987 Constitution amended to allow the declaration of Martial Law without the approval of Congress and the Supreme Court.
Speaking in front of volunteer women in Angeles City, Duterte said he wants the declaration of Martial Law to be the sole prerogative of the president.
Under the 1987 Constitution, the Congress and the High Court have the power to review the declaration of Martial Law.
Duterte cited the alleged inefficiency of having the Congress and the High Court to concur with the declaration.
"May giyera na, pupunta pa ako sa Congress, sa SC?" Duterte lamented. "Paano kung hindi magkasundo ang SC at Congress? Sino susundin ng pulis?"
(What if there is already a war? Should I still go to Congress, to SC? What if the Congress and the SC have differing opinions? Who should the police follow?)
Duterte said the provisions on Martial Law in the current constitution was a "reckless reaction" to the Marcos regime.
Duterte had been toying with the idea of declaring Martial Law. In August, Duterte asked Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno if the chief magistrate would rather have the president declare Martial Law after the chief justice commented on Duterte's relentless campaign against illegal drugs.
In October, Duterte once again floated the idea of declaring Martial Law because of the illegal drug trade in the country during a meeting with the Jewish community at the Beit Yaacov Synagogue in Makati City. – with a report from Kate Cunanan, ABS-CBN News