Communications Secretary Martin Andanar cleared the air about martial law and the LeniLeaks, two issues that have been widely discussed recently.
Andanar is in the US to attend the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States.
“Sadly, our country has not moved on or has not left that system of ousting somebody they don’t like and that only happens in a system where the law is weak. You lose an election and you can’t accept that you lost an election; the lack of respect to the electoral process of the country; the lack of respect to the rule of law…that's always been the case in our country,” Andanar said in an interview with local Filipino-America mediamen in Southern California.
Despite this, Andanar said President Rodrigo Duterte’s popular support cannot be discounted, citing 8 out of 10 Filipinos believing in the president, the military and police are both highly motivated, and the economic future of the country projected to be very bright.
“So, all of these Lenileaks stories and ouster plot, we do take them seriously. But we also know that they will fail,” he said.
A group of Filipino-Americans community leaders, led by philanthropist Loida Nicolas-Lewis, are allegedly plotting to oust President Duterte.
But Lewis has denied this. She also clarified that the Duterte Resign Movement is based on Duterte's own words that he would resign if drugs are still rampant six months after his inauguration.
Vice President Leni Robredo, whose name is also being dragged into the controversy, has denied any involvement in the alleged plot.
Andanar said martial law “doesn’t sit well with a huge number of our population.”
“But the president has always mentioned that he will declare martial law--mapipilitan siyang mag declare ng martial law--if the drug problem, terrorism becomes virulent in our country, meaning unstoppable already that we will become a narco-state already,” he said.
He also pointed out the differences in the context of martial law, based on what happened during time of former president Ferdinand Marcos and even former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
He said Marcos declared martial law in the 70s with a backdrop of the Cold War and the spread of communism. Arroyo, for her part, declared martial law in a specific area where more than 30 journalists were killed in what is now widely known as the Ampatuan massacre.
“When the president now talks of martial law, it is in the pretext of drugs and terrorism. These are different contexts behind it. If the president declares martial law at the end of his term, magduda ka na. Baka gusto pang humaba yung termino,” he said.